Friday, May 6, 2016

What is the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund?

For a moment, I would like to stop with the humorous stories, and talk about something I support within the gaming community. Every time I hold an auction on BGG, I give 10% of the profit to the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund. If you do not know about it, please give me 5 minutes to talk about it. Tom Vasel is an influential board game reviewer and podcaster of a popular show (of which I listen to religiously every week) called The Dice Tower.  Following the loss of his infant son, Jack, at the end of 2010, Tom started a memorial fund in his honor. I will actually quote the website here:

Tom is an influential voice in the board gaming hobby, and the community rallied around him in his time of need. Amazed by this generosity and kindness, Tom was determined to help others who might undergo similar tragedies. 
The Fund was formed to collect and distribute financial assistance to members of the public who are part of the gaming community and who have suffered personal hardship. It is our hope and prayer that the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund will provide Jack with a legacy to help out the entire gaming community. 
The Fund is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity.  Download the Fund's most recent IRS 990 report.

I think about what would happen if I lost any of my kids, and I don't know if i would have the strength or conviction to help others. It's really impressive to me that Tom started this. And there are testimonials on the site that I would also like to share.

To the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund organizers,
My family and I wanted to sincerely thank you all for the extremely generous donation that literally allowed us to financially survive what would have otherwise been a truly devastating summer. My 3-year old son, Noah, a liver transplant patient, became deathly ill this past early June and had to be flown on an emergency flight up to Amplatz Children's hospital in the Twin Cities from our current home in Tampa, Florida. Were it not for your incredibly gracious donation, our entire financial picture would have collapsed as I had no vacation time in the books with my current job (as a newer employee, I hadn't had time to have some saved up for this type of emergency) and I wouldn't have been bringing in any money to support our family during this difficult time. Not only did this kind donation save our family, financially, it also provided us with something nearly as valuable - peace of mind during a nerve-wracking summer. Thanks to the funds you released to us, we didn't have to stress about where our next meal would come from or how to pay for gas or hospital parking or our rent and bills back home in Florida. It was literally a family-saving gesture and we will never forget it (nor baby Jack, in whose name this fund exists). Thank you, again, SO very much for helping us in our time of need. Happily, Noah survived this dangerous time and is now doing so much better and definitely on the road to recovery and better health.
May God Bless you richly and help the fund to grow for others.

The gaming community is like nothing I have every experienced in my life. Complete strangers bonded by their love of games helping other gamers. I'm not asking you to donate, but what I am asking you is to be inspired and maybe grateful that we are part of such an amazing hobby.

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