MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Video gamers are grabbing their favorite controller and counting down to the third annual St. Jude PLAY LIVE prize season, kicking off April 29 to May 31 to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®. The St. Jude PLAY LIVE video game charity program encourages participants to raise funds for the kids of St. Jude and to play for more than bragging rights.
On April 8, the same day prize season registration opened – St. Jude Children's Research Hospital hosted more than five dozen top video game broadcasters on campus, along with hosts from Twitch, the leading live video platform for gamers. For the first time ever, Twitch Weekly broadcast the popular show live from a non-gaming event, allowing hosts and broadcasters to learn about St. Jude patients' stories of hope and survival, speak with researchers at St. Jude utilizing video gaming as an effective therapy in childhood cancer survivors, and share more about how St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases with the online gaming community.
"It's remarkable to see how deeply the entire video game industry has embraced the mission of St. Jude through our St. Jude PLAY LIVE platform, enabling gamers to play for a purpose," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "We are deeply appreciative of gamers across the country, broadcasters, corporate partners and supporters whose collective efforts and passionate hearts help ensure St. Jude will continue its lifesaving mission of finding cures for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases."
GameStop, a global family of specialty retail brands that makes the most popular technologies affordable and simple, continues its commitment to St. Jude PLAY LIVE as its official video game sponsor. GameStop provides participants with high-level incentives for supporting the mission. Included again in this year's prize package is a trip to the highly anticipated 2016 GameStop Expo, Sept. 14 in Anaheim, California as well as a pledge to match up to $45,000 in funds to drive donations.
The year-round video game charity program has simple rules: gamers sign up at playlive.stjude.org, set a fundraising goal, share the program with friends and family, and raise funds while playing their favorite games. Participants won't just score points, they will help ensure no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
Since its inception, St. Jude PLAY LIVE has raised nearly $2 million and continues to increase participants from the video broadcasting industry. Players use their skills to help the kids of St. Jude get to the next level – and St. Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer. This year, St. Jude PLAY LIVE is launching an overlay tool that will enable participants to see donations in real time. St. Jude PLAY LIVE is not just for professional video game broadcasters – anyone who enjoys playing video games online or off is encouraged to sign up and play for a purpose. Students also can register as a service hour participant and earn 10 academic service hours for every $100 raised.
"GameStop is proud to support St. Jude PLAY LIVE for the third straight year," said Matt Hodges, GameStop vice president of public and investor relations. "This charity event unites the gaming community for a very important campaign to help the kids of St. Jude who are fighting real battles with cancer."
Through the generous support of St. Jude partners like GameStop, Twitch, Domino's, OriginPC, Razer, Steel Series and Loot Crate, participants can win prizes such as gift cards, and next-gen consoles.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and we won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook (facebook.com/stjude) and following us on Twitter (@stjude).