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Grandmother Sets New Guinness World Record in Gaming, Raises $93,000 for Charity

old gods do new jobs

Kathleen Hankel, a 68-year-old grandmother from New Jersey, set a new world record this week in gaming. Hankel, who played in Manhattan while a simultaneous effort was spearheaded by Laura Rich in London, set the record for “Longest Video Games Marathon Playing a Card Game.” So what game was she playing? Solitaire Blitz.

Playing the facebook cardgame for 30 hours strait, Hankel signed on to the project as a way to promote Charity: Water, an organization whose goals include bringing water access to women and children in the developing world, something that can have a big impact on women’s lives and their access to things like education.

Andrea Schwaim of Wired served as one of the official witnesses of the event, and had the opportunity to interview Hankel, who told her that she’d visited Africa many times over the last few years, and had witnessed the effects water access (or a lack thereof) can have.

As part of their record-setting aspirations, Hankel and Rich had over $93,000 in pledges backing them up. They each reached their goal, playing for 30 hours straight.

Here’s what the Charity: Water website says about the importance of the money Hankel and Rich raised:

In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely to make them sick.

Time spent walking and resulting diseases keep them from school, work and taking care of their families.

Along their long walk, they’re subjected to a greater risk of harassment and sexual assault. Hauling cans of water for long distances takes a toll on the spine and many women experience back pain early in life.

With safe water nearby, women are free to pursue new opportunities and improve their families’ lives. Kids can earn their education and build the future of their communities.

Congrats to these two ladies for using their gaming stamina for the greater good.

(via Wired)

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Alanna is a pop culture writer who works as the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, an entertainment writer for Bustle, and a freelancer for everywhere. She has a lot of opinions about Harry Potter and will 100% bully you into watching the shows that she loves. Don't worry, it's a sign of friendship.