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Retro Game Night at Aloft Durham Downtown (Holiday Charity Edition)

Hey Everyone!

With the holidays fast approaching, it's time to get festive - and it's a chance to help those in need. This year a friend of mine who's a special needs teacher in a low-income school has reached out to ask for help to help make this year a Merry Christmas for some of her students and their families. I figured if we worked all together, we can help make their Christmas a happy one! 

For all of this week, all five of my Game Nights will be turned into Charity Events - for entry into the event, we will ask for either a monetary donation (all donations to the board game fund will be donated) or an item from the list below. If you choose to bring an item, please bring it unwrapped and with a label on it saying it it is being donated to family 1, 2 or 3. (It'll just make sorting a little easier)

Here's Some More Details About the Families in Need and The Items They Need - Anything you can provide would be much appreciated!

Family 1: 7 year old boy with autism who loves pokemon, dinosaurs, power ranger dino charge, yo kai, and puzzles. His mom is a single mom with minimal education. She works full time at Walmart trying to provide for his needs, does not have a car and relies on family members for transportation. She loves her son and tries her very best to provide for him but struggles financially. 

Childs wants & need:

-shirts size 8-10 (medium)

-pants size 10

-power rangers dino charge toys

-pokemon cards



-underwear size 8

-shoes size 2 youth

-socks size 2 youth

-yo kai watch

-non-fiction books

Family 2: 7 year old boy and 3 year old boy. These boys are very energetic and always happy. Their dad takes care of them while mom works full time, this past year she was laid off and it took 5 months for her to find a new job, she just started working again but are struggling to keep up the bills and provide for the family due to the job loss (they are low income and struggled to make ends meet even before the job loss). The children often dress well, they prefer sweaters and dress shirts to graphic tee shirts and sweats.

7 year old wants & needs:

-shirts & sweaters size 8 (loves the color red)

-jeans & khakis size 8

-shoe size 5 youth

-socks size 5 youth

-underwear size 8


-red and blue car

-colored pencils

-water colors

-books - very high reading level enjoys chapter books

-board games

3 year old wants & needs:

-shirts & sweaters size 4T

-pants size 4T

-shoes size 12T

-socks size 12T

-underwear size 4T

-toddler puzzles

-bouncy balls




Family 3: 4 year old girl, 7 year old boy, 12 year old boy. The 7 year old often comes to school in dirty clothing that is ripped or stained. We was the majority of his clothes for him here at school. He does not have underwear some days, if he is wearing underwear it is often his older brothers. He also rarely has on socks. The 7 year old also often picks prizes for his brother and sister when he is able to earn a prize. He often takes home food he doesn't eat at lunch to give to his brother or sister as well. He is very far below grade level but has a huge desire to learn, when given a chance to play he often asks if we can work on extra work instead. He is learning to read his sight words and would love anything that may help with that. The family struggles to put food on the table and it is not abnormal for them to go without food. Mom is married to the children’s step-father who is unable to work due to a disability. The children’s biological father is in and out of jail.

7 year old wants & needs:

-size 8 tee shirts

-size 8 long sleeve shirts

-size 8 sweat shirts

-size 8 jeans - mom stated he really needs these

-size 3 youth shoes

-size 3 youth socks

-size 8 underwear

-five nights at freddy’s toys

-art supplies

-power ranger dino charge toys

-minecraft lego


4 year old girl wants & needs:

-size 5T shirts

-size 5T pants and leggings

-Size 12 youth shoes

-size 5T skirts and dresses

-size 5T underwear

-Size 12 youth socks

-girl legos



12 year old boy wants & needs:

-size 18 shirts

-size 18 sweatshirt

-size 18 pants

-size 18 underwear

-size 12 youth shoes

-size 12 youth socks

-sonic toys

-five nights at freddys toys



-sports balls


Wanna wind down after a long day in the office? Come on out to the Aloft Hotel in Durham from 8pm to 11pm for a leisurely game of Cards Against Humanity…or a exhilarating game of Giant Jenga.

In addition to’s impressive 75+ collection of games, Game Night guests will also get to play with a Giant Jenga (seen above) and Giant Connect4. When the weather is looking good, Game Night guests will also enjoy over 100 Wii Games (including Just Dance) on a giant outdoor projection screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does This Event Work?
You will arrive to the event and check-in with Donald, your Game Night host (look for the guy wearing the black shirt). If you can, please make a $1 donation to our board game fund, as that helps us to add more games to the collection every month! After you have checked in, you are welcome to browse the Board Game Collection aka "The Library" and grab a game to play, otherwise walk around and join a game in progress if there's room. Once you finish playing a game, please return it to the collection then feel free to grab another!

Can I Come Alone? Yes! Absolutely! This event is perfect for people who are new in town, recently single or just want to get out of the house and have some fun! When you arrive, just look for Donald, your host, who will be wearing a black shirt.

Can I Bring a Date? Yes, this makes for a great, low-key (and super affordable) date night. Grab a drink and board game and play all night. And hey, it’s at a hotel

Is This Event Really Free? Yes, it really is! We do ask for a $1 donation to our board game fund if you can spare it, otherwise you’ll just be expected to pay for any food or drinks you would like to purchase.

Do They Serve Food and Drinks? Yes, the Aloft Durham sells heavy appetizers like wings, pizza, etc and lots of yummy cocktails and 1/2 price wine. I'm personally a fan of their Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup combo (YUM!) 

What's the deal with the Mardi Gras Beads? Master Dater Events has kindly donated a ton of Mardi Gras beads to our events, so we give out Mardi Gras beads to all singles in the room (nope, no funny business involved!) Just a fun way to mix n' mingle and meet fellow singles.

How Many People Typically Attend this Event? We typically get between 15-20 people for this event in addition to hotel patrons and passerbys that join in!

What is your current Game of the Month? Our current featured Game of the Month is CODENAMES: DEEP UNDERCOVER which is provided by our Game Night sponsor, Family Legacy Financial Services.

About Codenames: Deep Undercover 
Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their CODENAMES. In Codenames: Deep Undercover, two teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues that can point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates try to guess words of the right color while avoiding those that belong to the opposing team. And everyone wants to avoid the assassin.

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