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68-year-old grandmother to attempt world record 30-hour gaming marathon for charity

[Update: The marathon is now over and helped raise $92,577 for Charity: Water.]

Starting at 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday, June 26, Kathleen Henkel will attempt something few people even half her age would consider: playing a video game for 30 hours straight with no sleep.

“I’m very, very motivated,” said the 68-year-old Henkel of her attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “longest video game marathon playing a card game.” But getting her name in Guinness’ book isn’t the only reason for this stunt; Henkel is partnering up with PopCap Games to raise money for Charity: Water, a non-profit that works to bring clean drinking water to developing countries.

She’ll be playing PopCap’s Solitaire Blitz, a Facebook title based on a speed version of the classic card game. Though the overnight event is not for a couple of weeks yet, Henkel is starting to prepare for her Blitz blitz. “I’ll be logging at least 60 hours of Solitaire Blitz playtime over the next two weeks to get in playing shape,” she said through a statement for a press release. “I’m really determined to reach the goal of 30 consecutive hours. I’ll be ordering lots of coffee!”

Henkel and fellow Blitz player Laura Rich together will raise at least $10,000 for Charity: Water, assuming neither gives up before they break the record. Donors can also make per-hour pledges by visiting the Solitaire Blitz Facebook page (as of this writing, the “pledge” tab is not yet live, but it should be soon).

New Yorkers can window-watch Henkel playing live from the ground-floor art gallery in the Roger Smith Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Simultaneously, Rich will be making her attempt in the Sea Life London Aquarium in Cardiff, Wales.

Just try not to distract them, OK? They’re playing for a good cause.


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