If you are a part of the Guild Wars 1 community (and even if you are not) you have probably heard about GWEN. No, not the Mesmer in Eye of the North. I’m talking about the Gaming World Entertainment Network!
GWEN is an online radio station that is also affiliated with Gamers Giving Back. Both organizations are run by the same person, M A L I B U Barbie, or Rhonda as she is known here on Earth. She has been running these organizations since January 2010. Her mission is to prove the stereotype of gamers wrong. We aren’t just sitting at home staring at a screen, we have big hearts and we are active in giving back to the world.
The Toga Party is one of the many events Rhonda has organized through GWEN and Gamers Giving Back. Another one of their major events is Pink Day in LA (Lion’s Arch) which happens every October to bring awareness and raise money for Breast Cancer. I attended my very first Pink Day this last October and I had a ton of fun! The events are fun, friendly, and you have a chance to win great prizes. More on that later.
The Toga party started in 2009 as just a regular party to get together, have fun, and win prizes. In 2010 it shifted its focus to helping raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. They moved the party to April to coincide with the Canadian MS walk which was two weeks after the party. This gave them plenty of time to promote and raise money for the cause.
So you might be wondering why GWEN and Rhonda are so passionate about MS. The answer is that this is a disease that has affected Rhonda personally. I asked her to share her story and I don’t think I could do it justice just by paraphrasing it so here it is in its entirety:
The Toga Party for MS is just around the corner and I often reflect on why this event is so important to me personally both in and out of the game. People will ask me sometimes, “Why did you choose this disease to raise money for?