Tag 4 A Cause Goes International
I launched my first Tag 4 A Cause Laser Tag 5K Challenge just over a year ago and it started out small with an event in Albany, NY. This was planned even before most laser tag centers in my state had re-opened amidst the pandemic and I was looking for a way to do some good and encourage people to get back to playing laser tag (safely and with proper precautions) wherever and whenever it was possible for them to do so. That’s why I initially focused on this as a virtual challenge for players to complete individually in any arena, anywhere.
That part of the challenge remains consistent, but now I am expanding upon that original idea by hosting Tag 4 A Cause challenges quarterly, so every three months we support a new cause and make available a new medal. And as laser tag arenas have re-opened I am learning every step of the way that the social element which makes laser tag so much fun is exactly the same ingredient that makes Tag 4 A Cause events an even better way to reach players. After all, it is all about interacting with people!
So in the last six months I have started going out to multiple arenas each quarter and hosting Tag 4 A Cause events with scheduled visits during public game nights as well as pop-up events with side challenges and trophy contests at tournaments where I can get in front of the more dedicated laser tag players who are really my prime audience for this challenge.
I’m delighted to say that as of this writing Tag 4 A Cause has supported four very worthy charitable groups including the Lustgarten Foundation Cancer Research, Feeding America, the Doreen Katz Memorial Cancer Foundation and currently the American Red Cross Disaster Relief. So far this initiative has directed several thousand dollars in total support donations to help these groups using direct donation links to them that were promoted on my website. This fundraising happened through both the online challenge and in-person events held at laser tag arenas across the country, starting in New York, but also getting to several other states, even as far west as Colorado. One of my goals is to host Tag 4 A Cause events at arenas in different parts of the country and to have multiple laser tag systems represented among those locations. My thanks to the laser tag sites that have hosted Tag 4 A Cause events so far including (in chronological order) Apex Entertainment Albany, Q-Zar Toledo, The Fun Warehouse, Loveland Laser Tag, Ultrazone Fort Wayne, Laser Zone Canton and Skyway Laser Storm.
This is a homegrown, one-woman effort that is literally a kitchen table operation (as that is where I craft the medals) so I initially thought I would keep this contained to the United States simply to keep shipping reasonable and to not get in over my head. However, laser tag is a global community and after I appeared on an episode of the Resupply podcast, talking with the hosts scattered between New Zealand, California and Texas I was pleased to discover that there was interest in this idea beyond my original scope.
One such example that came out of that appearance was getting connected with laser tag players internationally when a podcast listener, Lucie (aka Lucidun) reached out to me to participate with a group of her laser tag friends in the Czech Republic. She and I coordinated the logistics of making this work and six players from the Czech Republic made donations to support the Doreen Katz Memorial Cancer Foundation. I sent a package of medals and wristbands to Lucie to distribute on my behalf. International shipping takes some time, so this is a slightly delayed finale, but this past week the medals finally arrived in the Czech Republic and Lucie was kind enough to send a photo from her home laser tag center on the other side of the globe.
My thanks to them all! Here is a photo of the three players from the Pilsen site including Martin Šašek (Triman), Kristýna Strouhalová (Kristý) and Lucie Dunovská (lucidun). There were also three other supporters from another laser tag center in Prague, but due to restrictions we could not get a group photo with them at this time. My sincere thanks to Hana P, Hana K and Michaela from the Prague Laserforce site. I will post an update with their photos once that is possible. However, I am appreciative of all the laser tag players who have supported Tag 4 A Cause in fundraising for worthy organizations and I am glad to welcome new friends in the Czech Republic as the first to help make Tag 4 A Cause an international initiative!
For more info about Tag 4 A Cause please visit www.TiviachickLovesLaserTag.com.
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