Stay-at-home dad converts gaming passion into fundraiser for children's hospital

A stay-at-home dad is flying to Florida from his home in New Brunswick early Thursday in a bid to turn his lifelong passion for gaming into a charitable money-maker for sick children.

Kris Jardine says his saga of turning a hobby into a fundraiser began in November when he played four different video games for 24 hours, as friends and acquaintances donated $479 to give to the IWK children's hospital in Halifax.

Organizers at the IWK Health Centre gathered up the names of fundraisers who had donated to the hospital, and picked Jardine's name out of a hat for the trip to Florida, where he's scheduled to play off against other gamers for additional cash for the hospital starting Thursday.

The 35-year-old Miramichi, N.B., resident says he's a bit nervous about whether his reflexes will be as good as younger gamers he'll be facing off against, and says his goal is not to return home empty-handed.

The event is operated by the Extra Life United organization, which provides funds to a network of childrens' hospitals from the U.S. video-and-board game event.

Jardine says he grew up playing Super Mario and other Nintendo games, and never imagined he'd be able to convert his passion into a way to help others.