Solitaire Blitz 30-Hour Marathon Raises $92K for Charity!


They did it, gang! Two amazing women — Laura Rich in London and Kathleen Henkel in New York City — each successfully completed a fairly astounding achievement yesterday, and for that we ask you to join us in saluting them with a collective huzzah! Each woman played Solitaire Blitz for 30 hours straight, qualifying themselves for a Guinness World Record, and helping PopCap raise $92,500 for charity: water, a non-profit organization committed to bringing fresh water to developing countries. A world record and a humongous contribution to an important cause: Not bad for playing a computer card game!

London's Laura Hill, near the beginning of her 30-hour odyssey playing Solitaire Blitz.

Now, it may seem like playing video games for 30 hours straight is not that much of a task. We probably all know someone — or are someone — who plays games way too much in one sitting. But consider this: These two women had to do it in public, in front of cameras and witnesses, with everything being officially recorded for Guinness, and had to play nonstop, except for 10-minute breaks after every continuous hour of play. Except for those breaks, they had to be playing the game every minute. The official Guinness rules specify that they couldn’t go longer than 20 seconds without interacting with the game, or the world record wouldn’t count.

In the spotlight: Kathleen Henkel, a 68-year-old grandmother from New Jersey, sitting in full public view on Lexington and 47th in New York City, with cameras recording her record-setting attempt.

But despite the pressure, the lack of sleep, the unfamiliar surroundings, and the lack of a decent meal, both women completed the marathon, and in doing so raised over $92,000 in pledges from folks all over the world rooting them on to finish.

Those of us in attendance at the two events were tired just watching them play — and we got to take naps!  How both Laura and Kathleen kept this up, while staying in good spirits the entire time too, is a mystery for the ages. But at least part of it could be attributed to some of the surprise visitors that showed up to help cheer them on.

Kenley Collins from Project Runway stops by to cheer Kathleen on.

Meanwhile, in London, Solitaire Blitz's very own Pearl lends Laura Hill some smiles and moral support.

Finally, there were these folks, who admittedly scared us at first, but turned out to be the hilarious, charming and astoundingly talented group called Voca People, who you can find at www.voca-people.com.

Thanks so much to both Laura and Kathleen for helping us raise this money. We hope they are both away from their computers and sound asleep. And thank you, too, for the generosity with your pledges, which far exceeded even our best hopes. If you want to learn more about charity: water and help out (because it’s never too late), check out their site.  And here is a great interview that charity: water conducted at the event with Kathleen. Good night, everyone! We’re going to bed, too!


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