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Play to Help

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

I was one of the first to get there - our site for the PlayToHelp event on Saturday Dec 03, 2011. The weather forecast said it was going to snow that afternoon, so we were nervous. What if no one showed up? All of the preparations were done and we had a steep goal to accomplish – raise $1000. The theme of the event was PlayToHelp. The plan was to play a few games: A video game on Playstation called FIFA 2012, Just dance 2 on Xbox Kinect, No Limit Texas Holdem Poker, and 5-for-50 all with one common goal - to raise funds to help send 25 kids in Nepal to school.

The clubhouse was set up neatly, the east wing had two overhead flat screen TVs where gamers were warming up for the FIFA 2012 tournament. A big golden trophy that sat next to the registration booth was at stake, but more important were “bragging rights”! In the middle of the room was a big DLP TV where volunteers were still connecting the Xbox to play the dancing game, Just Dance 2. Next to the TV were volunteers folding $1 bills for 5-for-50. On the other end of the room next to the bar (where refreshments were being served), the poker table was set up. Additionally, in the corner were guitars and DJ instruments ready for some musical entertainment.

To our delight, Minnesotans (“Minne-snow-tans”) weren’t scared of the weather forecast that said snowfall. So pretty soon, the hall was packed. The participants were socializing, reading the biographies posted on the wall, playing video games, dancing, playing poker – all of which proceeds went to sending unprivileged kids in Nepal to school.

By the end of the afternoon, Saurav Poudel was crowned the FIFA champion, Kelly won the dancing game, Pritesh Upadhyay won the Poker tournament and tons of other participants won door prizes sponsored by several local businesses that serve the Nepali Community. Dikchya Ghimere won the grand door prize, 2 tickets to the MN Wilds game. Overall, we had more than 50 people stop by, 60+ donations were collected and we raised more than $1000. The event was a huge success!

As young working professionals living in Minneapolis, we often get together with friends and family on weekends to play and socialize. But this time around there was a great sense of satisfaction that none of us had ever felt before. How often can we do something that is fun for the participants as well as help the unprivileged? How often does one get the opportunity to PlayToHelp?

In case you missed the fun we are still welcoming donations. Please visit the following URL to contribute:

We would like to thank our sponsors: Everest on Grand – St. Paul, MN Bambu Restaurant – Maplewood, MN Gorkha Palace – St. Anthony, MN Himalayan Restaurant – Fridley, MN Denver Restaurant – Denver, CO Diffley Liquor – Eagan, MN

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