Left to Right: Erick Blandin, Kristy Monahan, Travis Eriksen, Tabby Sheehan, Kirsten Carlile
Erick Blandin: Program Director
Erick joined Child’s Play in 2014 after working for UW Medicine for 10 years as an IT Analyst. This background gives him a good insight into the challenges hospitals have in adopting new technologies. Has attended over 30 PAXen as a fan, then Enforcer, staff, and now as Exhibitor. Plays games regularly including a regular Pathfinder game with a group he’s been with for over 20 years. Started gaming in the early 80s with Intellivision and D&D and played Nintendo while a patient for a week at Seattle Children’s in the 90s.
Kristy Monahan: Accounting Wizard
Kristy joined the Child’s Play team in 2017, her love affair with games began in the ‘80s with the advent of “Old School” Nintendo and Mario Bros. When she’s not crunching numbers, Kristy can be found carting her children to their various extracurricular activities, singing and playing guitar, or out in the woods camping.
Travis Eriksen: Executive Director
After 15 years of teaching middle school Math and STEM classes, Travis joined Child’s Play in 2016. With a Master’s Degree focused in Education from Oregon State University, he has used his experience in education and passion for helping kids to further the educational mission of Child’s Play. Travis is also the ChiefOmegatech of PAX, running every Omegathon since the first PAX in 2004 (ok nearly every one, he had to miss the third PAX AUS and first PAX South because of teaching). In his free time, Travis listens to podcasts, lifts, and spending time with his wife Courtney and sons, Odin and Taran.
Tabby Sheehan: Community and Program Coordinator
Tabitha, a.k.a StabbyTabby joined the Child’s Play team in 2017 after moving to the Seattle area from Las Vegas. Although new to the world of Penny Arcade and PAX, she has been an avid gamer for 35 years. While working for Nintendo for five years she learned valuable people skills that she now uses at the Child’s Play booth. You can visit her at our booth at PAX and other conventions spreading the word about Child’s Play.
Kirsten Carlile: Director of Philanthropy and Partner Experiences
Sharing a birthplace with the founders of Child’s Play, Spokane native Kirsten is the newest member of our dynamic team. She is no stranger to philanthropy & development, Kirsten has spent the past 16 years wearing a variety of hats creatively championing the mission of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and compassionately leading a Family Support Services team at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, including Child Life. Kirsten’s career passion centers around children and healthcare. Creative and outgoing, she knows firsthand the importance of the work we do and has already significantly contributed to our “on the front lines” support of Child Life. Outside the office, you can find Kirsten traveling to beautiful and remote locations fishing saltwater flats with her hubby and still hoping to hook the elusive triggerfish.
We did not set out to have 2018 be a record-breaking year for Child’s Play, in fact, if you had asked us at the beginning of the year we expected 2018 to be a year where we settled in from a wild 2017. We started off the year developing a plan to make our grant process more sustainable, both financially but also creating a schedule that our small team could manage with everything else we are doing on a daily basis. We worked with GAEMS and FullyLoaded to get phase two of the shelter program up and running, and put in place a plan to make sure we can sustain it for years to come without interruption. At the direction of our new board members, the biggest project we took on this year was finding a Development Director. It took the better part of the year but in November we found a candidate for the position and starting in 2019 Child’s Play will officially have a staff of five people.
While we worked quietly in the background to put all these new processes into place you, the community, continued to support Child’s Play with growing passion, culminating the year with a record year for Desert Bus ($732,113.37) and the annual Child’s Play Dinner Auction.
Desert Bus 2018 has completed its journey at $730,099.— Desert Bus for Hope (@DesertBus) November 16, 2018
We offer our sincere thanks to you: our wonderful viewers, donators, guests, crafters, volunteers, chat moderators, video strike team members, and everyone else involved.
We love you all. pic.twitter.com/rpDttEBvy6
Onstage after the live auction, we celebrated a total that pushed the combined total from Desert Bus and the Auction over $1,000,000. The $267,887 we celebrated was an amazing amount and a hefty sum above what we raised at the dinner last year ($200,000 including auctions, tickets, eBay etc. . .), but it didn’t end there. When we totaled everything up from this year’s auction we crossed the $400,000 mark.
We cannot say it enough, thank you for your support. You have made the last 15 years possible, you have impacted the lives of millions of children, you have helped us change the world.
Play Games, Feel Better
It all started 15 years ago with an Amazon wishlist for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Two weeks and a garage full of toys later the Child’s Play community donated thousands of dollars worth of toys and started an amazing tradition of giving that has impacted the lives of millions of kids.
During this season of giving Child’s Play encourages you to look over the wishlist of a Children’s Hospital near you, find a toy or a game and send it their way. It is hard to put words to the impact that one video game has, but know even one game or a replacement controller impacts hundreds if not thousands of kids a year, bringing a little bit of joy into a frightening and scary situation.
Play Games, Feel Better