Minnetonka Game Store Pulls All-Nighter for Charity


It was about 10 minutes past noon on Sunday, and Lodestone Coffee and Games co-owner Mike Hawthorne was approaching 27 hours straight in his store.

“I’m on my third or fourth wind, so I feel okay,” he said. “I paced myself on coffee and food, so I’m kind of where I need to be as far as that goes.”

Hawthorne, along with several of Lodestone’s team members and patrons, took to the tabletops for 24 hours straight over the weekend in a fund-raising effort to benefit The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project was launched in 1998 to provide crisis intervention and suicide prevention resources for LGBTQ youth.

Hawthorne, of St. Paul, is part of a five-man team that also includes Ryan Overturf, Forrest Ryan, Jordan Monte, and Zach Schneider. Lodestone has been open in Minnetonka for just over nine months, but quickly established itself as a landmark among Twin Cities gamers. While their largest draws are Magic: The Gathering tournaments, board games of all types are available to play in the store over coffee or tea. Corner Coffee creates exclusive flavors for Lodestone; and, for those really in need of a buzz, daytime happy hours can score you two-for-one coffees during the week.

Hawthorne said the team at Lodestone has always had ambitions to pitch in for a good cause. When the time came, he said, The Trevor Project came up several times in discussion.

“We looked into it, [and] it’s obviously a very good cause,” said Hawthorne. “They just do really good things. It felt like that was something worth giving to.”

The gaming kicked off Saturday at noon; and, when the card-shuffling and shaking of dice wound down the next day, Lodestone had raised over $4,000.

RELATED: The short film that inspired The Trevor Project can be viewed here.

Customers play board games at Lodestone Coffee and Games in Minnetonka, Minnesota
Customers begin wrapping up as noon approaches Sunday at Lodestone Coffee and Games in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Hawthorne estimated over 100 people took part. Scheduled games ranged from family-friendly and intermediate games, to role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and big-party games like Two Rooms and a Boom (your humble author was the bomber, and won). Extra tables had to be hustled out as players filed in throughout the course of the evening; and, even at 3 a.m., roughly half the store’s seats were occupied. Coffee was served all night.

Among the members of the event’s 24-Hour Club was Austin Kennedy, of Plymouth. Kennedy, who hosts the Film Geek Central Presents: The Films of 1973 podcasts, said his strategy for lasting the whole 24 centered on shorter, high-energy games. He estimated his average game length ranged from 45 minutes to an hour.

“I’m never tired after playing games,” said Kennedy. “I get really energized by being around people. When I talked to Mike, he was like ‘We’re doing 24 hours.’ I said ‘When is it, because I’m going to be there!'”

In all, 11 people lasted from beginning to end.

Hawthorne said fans can expect more marathon-type events in the future, some going a full 24 hours, others extending only through the length of the store’s open hours. Lodestone’s break from fund-raising, however, will be a short one: the shop is holding a Magic the Gathering tournament to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. More information can be found on Lodestone’s website, as well as their Facebook page.

RELATED: Recent gaming coverage can be heard on the podcast: interviews with “The Ren and Stimpy Show” co-creator Bob Camp; pro cosplayer Mogchelle; and WWE Artist-in-Residence Rob Schamberger.

New York Slice, a strategy game involving cardboard slices of pizza, is one game available for play at Lodestone Coffee and Games in Minnetonka, Minnesota
New York Slice, a strategy game involving cardboard slices of pizza, is one game available for play at Lodestone Coffee and Games in Minnetonka, Minnesota.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here