At first glance, Pink Triangle Services’ (PTS) second annual Vintage Video Game Tournament, on Saturday, Oct 4, appears to be a well-intentioned fundraiser for maintaining and expanding PTS’s many services. However, it’s hard to ignore the possibility that it’s actually just a scheme concocted by some of the whimsical geeks at PTS — namely event coordinator Veronica Michelle and executive director Claudia Van den Heuvel — that will allow them to play games and wear silly costumes.
To enter the all-ages Mario Kart 64 tournament, each team must raise at least $100 in pledges. Prizes will be awarded to the team that raises the most funds, the tournament winner and best costumes.
You barely have to scratch the surface before the nerdy intentions of this duo become clear. “[When we first did it], we were trying to think of a fundraiser that we could do in a pledge-athon structure,” Michelle says. “But really, I think I just wanted to trick Claudia into buying an N64.”
Sure, the N64 has become an attraction in PTS’s drop-in programs, but that doesn’t make Michelle’s geeky ploy any less unsettling. And Van den Heuvel is no better. It may appear she is being a supportive, active figure in an important organization, but isn’t it really that she just wants to parade about dressed as a fictitious beast?
“I might dress up like Yoshi this year, because that’s the character I like to be in Mario Kart, but it’s hard to find a good dragon costume,” Van den Heuvel says.
“Is he a dragon or a dinosaur?” Michelle interjects.
“He is a dinosaur-dragon,” Van den Heuvel says matter-of-factly.
To mark PTS’s 30th anniversary, funds raised will help establish two new programs: a donation-based clothing bank and a cat café. “Once a month, we’ll open up our space in partnership with a cat rescue organization and provide people with the opportunity to mingle with and adopt cats,” Van den Heuvel says.
They’re noble causes, but it’s important to remember Michelle’s sage words: “Let’s play Mario Kart and talk about boogers and buttholes.”