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Kathy and I had a great time volunteering at the Triangle Esports Championship this past weekend, helping out our good friend Jatovi McDuffie who was organizing the charity event. This was the first time the event was being held, and we had offered our volunteer experience with Kiwanis and other organizations to help make sure things went smoothly just in case any disasters struck. The event benefited the Triangle Literacy Council and the Kramden Institute, and there were plenty of other volunteers on hand from those two organizations. As it turned out, Jatovi had little to worry about since things were very well organized.

We started out our day picking up a few Circle K members who, miraculously for college students, were up and ready at 5:30 a.m. when we picked them up and drove to the Durham Armory to help set up more than 100 computers, monitors, and other equipment while the professionals wired all of the electricity in from a generator outside. It really was impressive seeing all of the power lines, outlets, and routers being set up in such a relatively short period of time.

Starting at 10:30 a.m., the doors were opened and I was positioned to greet everyone who came in to check-in. I can’t tell you how many times I said the same exact thing. “Welcome to the Triangle Esports Championship,” I said. “We have three places you need to be to get checked in. First, all bags need to be checked out for security purposes. Second, you either turn in or buy your tickets at the second station, and they’ll give you your wristbands that allows you in and out throughout the day. And, finally, if you are competing, then the third table is where you check in and they’ll tell you where you have to be and when.”

One of the things that surprised me the most was the number of younger children there competing in the three Fortnite tournaments. A lot of the parents were happy to be there for their kids, but at the same time they were telling me they really didn’t understand any of it. I think it helped that I told them I didn’t really understand a lot of the gaming specifics either but I was just there to help.

Finally, another one of my Circle Kers relieved me on front door duty so I was able to leave by 6 p.m., putting in almost 12 volunteer hours in one day. In all, it was a great experience, and I hope to help out next year with the second annual event.

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