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Playing games to make a difference for kids

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Most people play video games for fun, but on Nov. 24 gaming enthusiasts will be playing for the kids.

North Star Movement, a group of youth working to make changes in their communities, is hosting a video game and toy drive for Children’s Hospital.

As part of the event, an NHL 13 video game tournament will be held in partnership with EB Games at centre court of Garden City Shopping Centre from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sears is renting TVs to the group for the tournament while prizes have been donated by Microsoft and Turtle Beach including a new Xbox 360, 250 GB console with Kinect, and a Turtle Beach XP 500 universal headset.

The cost to participate is a $10 donation to Children’s Hospital.

Steve Noel, along with his girlfriend Kate-Lyn West and Noel’s sister Jessica Stehr, started the North Star Movement earlier this year.

Noel’s brother Jack spent much of his youth in Children’s Hospital for various ailments, and Noel knows the lonely feeling that children experience.

The toy drive and tournament are just some of the ways people can make a difference, he said.

"It’s an open event, if people don’t want to participate they’re more than welcome to come down and support the Children’s Hospital right before Christmas," said Noel, who lives in Elmwood.

"I just believe in the cause, and I believe  in helping out those in need, especially the children."

Tanya Williams, a spokeswoman for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, said the video game and toy drive will make a difference at the hospital.

"We’re very excited that North Star and Steve have come onboard with this event," Williams said.

"It kicks off the holidays and the season of giving. What a fantastic thing to do. It’s so inspiring to see people wanting to do this and give back."

Noel said kids need to be taken care of because they’re the future.

"If we’re not willing to help them now when they’re sick and down, how are we going to expect them to look out for us when we’re old?" Noel said.

"It’s also about community. It sends a message to the community that if we all come together and do great things, there’s a lot we can do together."

Anyone interested in taking part in the tournament must pre-register at the EB Games location in Garden City. A total of 150 spots are available.

For more information on North Star or to donate to its initiatives visit www.northstarmovement.tumblr.com or email northstarmovement@gmail.com.

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