“We raised $4592.76 that went directly to the Children’s Shelter. This year we will do more.”DeeJay Fox
I had the pleasure of speaking with DeeJay on September 25th about NEAGamefest, an event where proceeds help out a local Children’s Shelter in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.
TheCharityBoardGamer: DeeJay, thank you so much for meeting with me today. Tell us about yourself and what brought you into the board game hobby.
DeeJay: Thank You, Chris. My name is DeeJay Fox, and I’ve been an avid boardgamer for about 4 years. I always enjoyed board games, but Catan brought me into the hobby. My wife’s sister was visiting one day and brought it out. Stacy (my wife) fell in love with the game, and it rekindled my enjoyment of fellowshiping around a table. Now we probably have around three-hundred games between the two of us. Our love for gaming got me to search for a local game groups and I came across the NEA Gamer’s Guild because they already had a monthly public game day at our local library. I attended their public group and found it very inviting.
I knew Rod K. from The Boardgame Closet, and he told me about his and Jimmy’s YouTube videos. And he showed me the new world of gaming. Rod told me about a group that meets at the Library, which got me looking into NEA gamers Guild.I found their Facebook group and the rest is history. Every month the Library and our FLGS Gamers’ Haven team up and purchase new games for the community to try out and enjoy.
TheCharityBoardGamer: So what is your go-to game right now?
DeeJay: My wife’s go to game now is probably Orleans. We play that quite a bit. Mine may be Scythe or maybe even Everdell at the moment. I enjoy everything.
TheCharityBoardGamer: So who wins the most in Orleans?
DeeJay: Stacy is cutthroat. She usually wins. It is one of our favorites to bring out to new gamers.
The CharityBoardGamer: So tell me about NEA Gamefest. How did it get started and what is it all about?
DeeJay: The fellowship aspect of gaming is what really keeps us in the hobby. I love solo games, but being able to sit around a table with different people is just great.Nea Gamefest (Northeast Arkansas Gamefest) was the brain child of 3 siblings. Sarah, Kier, and Megan Heyl. They group up board gaming and have always wanted a group close to home. The 3 of them, with there close friends and families, started the Northeast Arkansas Gamers Guild. In time, the guild has grown exponentially. The NEA Gamers Guild Facebook group now has over 750 members. Sarah has always loved attending Geekway to the West in St. Charles MO, and really wanted to create something similar in our area.
DeeJay: Megan Heyl wanted to use this idea to help the Northeast AR. Children’s Shelter located in Walnut Ridge, AR. Together they partnered and through the Heyl’s connections from their many years of Gaming at Geekway, and their other company connections, got our convention going. This will be the 3rd NEA Game Fest.
All of the money raised goes to the Children’s Shelter. Last year (2018) through donations, badge sales, etc. We raised $4592.76 that went directly to the Children’s Shelter. This year we will do more.
The Children’s Shelter is amazing. They are an emergency shelter that meets the needs of children suffering from neglect, family violence, physical and sexual abuse, deceased parents and more. Since their opening in 2009 they have helped over eight hundred children in need.
TheCharityBoardGamer: That is amazing! So what will be some of the events at NEA Gamefest?
DeeJay: Employees of the Children’s shelter will be their selling food and refreshments.If the kids are there, we will not know who they are, do to confidentiality. All Children are welcomed to attend. Kids 9 and under get in free. Children 10 -15 are $5 per badge. Adults 16+ are $20 per badge at neagamefest.com. Badges will be $25 at the door if not purchased online.
There will be many great things going on at NEAGameFest! We have Play n Wins, Silent Auctions, Family Friendly Game Tournaments such as our Second Annual Happy Salmon Tournament and a Loopin Louie Tournament, Vendors, Magic The Gathering Tournaments, RPGs, and so much more!
TheCharityBoardGamer: DeeJay, where can people go to donate towards the Children’s Shelter if they are not in the area? How can others help the event and the charity?
DeeJay: Many companies have donated games for our play n wins and for our silent auctions to help support the cause. We accept donations directly through the website. If any company wants to send games or products, they can contact me and or the Heyls directly.
I would love it if people would at least go to the website to get a look at our sponsors because they are what continue to make NEA Game Fest great year after year.
TheCharityBoardGamer: DeeJay, Thank you so much for taking the time to talk about NEA GameFest and what it’s doing for the local community. I wish you another great year of success!
DeeJay: Thank you for having me, and thank you for taking the time to highlight the good in our industry.