Earlier this summer, a group of players in a Live Action Roleplaying (LARP) community got together for a touching tribute to a friend they’d lost. Buddy Wolfhope was a popular player in his community, known as Sir BrightHammer IceBreaker, Arg the Pirate, and Doctor Slashblight to his fellow LARPers. When he passed away unexpectedly, his LARPing community decided to hold a Fight-A-Thon to honor him. In the process, they raised funds for Take This, as Buddy was a great supporter of our cause.
Here’s how they describe the experience:
The Fight-A-Thon was held at Tournaments of Blackwood, and all money raised was donated to TakeThis. The Fight-A-Thon was a 3-hour-long endurance battle against the heat and will power. Competitors continuously fought 1-on-1 fights, switching competitors between fights, where they were sponsored by generous members of the community, workplaces, and self-funding, paying per fight, per win, per loss, and a few other combinations. People fought cleanly and calmly for the full three hours, while others tallied wins and losses, and others kept competitors and their counters hydrated.
Some of the players shared their individual experiences after the battle. Participant Josh Learned shared his thoughts:
It was a great experience. Everyone seemed to be extremely excited and pumped to participate. Almost losing a close friend who struggles with mental health issues and helping them work through I learned the importance of organizations like Take This and having an outlet in general. It’s something I’ve learned is a lot more important recently and I’m glad I was able to do something to help.
Everyone seemed to understand they were participating in something bigger than just some fights, and respected it as such. And it did feel bigger than any tournament that I can remember recently because the goal was different.It wasn’t about winning or losing, the goal was different for everyone. You not only wanted to complete your own sponsor goals, you wanted to make sure everyone else got there’s. And you saw people fatigue, fighting lefty cause their right arm was dead, but not giving up. The attitudes were great. People got tired and shots were off the mark, face, groin, little hard at times. But everyone understood why and kept going without any issues. It was an a special moment to be a part of.
Keith Cronyn shared similar sentiments:
It was fun. It was important. I had never heard of Take This before reading about it via the fight-a-thon, but it’s an organization that is important to me now. I’ve worked in various parts of the mental health field for many years now. I’ve seen lives changed. I’ve known people that could use a little extra help from an organization like Take This. I think we all have. So for me, fighting in the fight-a-thon was important. I was only looking for penny donations from people per fight, because I felt the idea of it was to show you’re surrounded by people who would support you. It felt symbolic that way. When people were offering me more than a penny per fight, or win, I felt like I had to push forward to earn it. It drove me on. Nothing was going to stop me from making it through. Who knows what lives those pennies may change.
At the end of the three hours, organizers tallied the number of bouts and found that all told, they’d fought an amazing 11,694 in total, raising $5,502.41 for Take This in the process. We’re humbled by the immense effort they put in to support our mission in Buddy’s memory, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by his loss.
Here are several photos from the Fight-A-Thon, kindly shared with us by photographer Janna Oakfellow-Pushee.
Update: In an earlier version of this article, we mistakenly referred to one of Buddy Wolfhope’s characters as Doctor Slashbright instead of Doctor Slashblight. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Jill.[View From Valehaven]