Geeks and superheroes


Geek Gala gives back at Blind Bob’s

By Allyson B. Crawford

Photo: Spiderman considers his next move in Battleship, already a good one, as Geek Gala tickets are $5 with costumes

Geek culture, if there is such a thing, is more accepted now than when the word was first widely used around the ’70s and ’80s.

Once maligned and targets of bullies, “geeks” are now revered for their undivided passions to things like computers, games, comics, and movies. Instead of mocking fans of computer games or Star Trek, so-called “geeks” have come into their own, creating websites, blogs, and cottage industries based on their special expertise and passions.

Now, it’s cool to be a geek: to be smart and unique. To help others and gather together for good. And that’s really the point of the Geek Gala.

The Geek Gala Dance Party lets everyone fly their geek flags at Saturday at Blind Bob’s to help Extra Life Dayton, a national organization that unites gamers to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. This means the local chapter raises money for Dayton Children’s Hospital.

The event is 21 and older, and costumes of all types are encouraged—the geekier, the better.

“The critical difference, I think, between Geek Gala and other benefits for children’s hospitals is that our event is targeted at adults,” explains event creator and co-organizer Josher Lumpkin. “It is our hope that young adults who want to participate in something greater than themselves, but might not know how, will come out and have a great time while helping a deserving cause.”

In the past, Extra Life Dayton has held 24-hour gaming marathons. This is the first year for the Geek Gala.

“Extra Life is a program that anyone can join,” explains Kristy Brown, Geek Gala co-organizer and Annual Giving Associate with Dayton Children’s Hospital. “Extra Life is predominately based around gaming, as in video games, tabletop games, any type of gaming you can think of. It also focuses on philanthropy, so you can go with your passion and help a bigger cause. Our cause at Dayton Children’s is to help sick and injured kids in the Dayton region. All the money [raised] from Extra Life stays in the Dayton community and goes to purchase medical equipment and technology to make sure our services are up to date, so we can provide the best care.”

The equipment is used in all areas of treatment, including trauma, surgery, intensive care, and newborn intensive care.

Lumpkin is a nurse by trade and works at an area hospital. His passion for public health spurred his desire to give back and help fundraise for sick children.

“Kids are innocent, and when they suffer from illness and disease, it is not because of lifestyle decisions,” he says. “There is something about this critical difference from the adult medical world that yanks at my heartstrings.”

His medical background, coupled with an obsession with games, led to Lumpkin’s involvement with Extra Life.

During the Geek Gala, a Nintendo representative will be on hand to demo games and give away swag. Since this is a dance gala, there will be decorations and a photographer, as well. Comedians Joe Young and Mat Thornburg will provide some entertainment and DJ Dust Bunny will spin the tunes. Attendees will also have the opportunity to enter raffles for cool prizes.

“The big thing is getting to be yourself with other self-identifying geeks who want to dress up, get crazy and dance in a safe environment where no one is being judged and everyone can come together to help others,” Lumpkin says.

The goal is to raise $2,000 during this event, with all the proceeds going to Dayton Children’s. During 2016, 200 people participated in Extra Life Dayton and raised a cumulative $20,000.

“The political landscape is so polarizing and overwhelmingly negative lately. We can all agree that easing the suffering of sick children is a deserving cause to rally behind,” Lumpkin says. “The Geek Gala is a way to do something great for your community and for other people, while having the best time ever!”

Dayton Children’s is currently in the middle of a large expansion project. The emergency department at Dayton Children’s south campus in Springboro is now open and an eight-story patient tower is currently under construction at the hospital’s main campus. Money raised from Geek Gala will go toward technology for these new buildings.

So, are you a geek or a superhero? Attend the Geek Gala and be both.

The Geek Gala takes place Saturday, Jan. 28 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. in the Oregon District. The event starts at 7 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m. Tickets are $10 at the door or $5 for those in costume. For more information, please visit or To make a donation, please visit


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About Allyson B. Crawford

View all posts by Allyson B. Crawford
Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at

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