Island Pictionary tourney a success

More than 30 children participated in the Pictionary Tournament at the Community Center at Mercerview last month. - Contributed photo
More than 30 children participated in the Pictionary Tournament at the Community Center at Mercerview last month.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Mercer Island students Ben Angel (age 12, IMS) and Samantha “Sam” Angel (age 14, MIHS) hosted the second annual Pictionary Tournament at the Mercer Island Community Center on Sept. 28.

The tournament was originally created to increase awareness about local children and teens affected by HIV/AIDS. The money raised will benefit Rise n’ Shine, a local AIDS nonprofit. Each player donated $30 to participate in the tournament.

Twelve teams of three players each, mostly Mercer Island students, competed in a round-robin format to crown this year’s winners. The noise level in the hall was deafening as the players screamed their guesses from the drawings that their teammates made. It was organized chaos.

“We called all our friends to help us out and to form teams. Our goal was to raise $2,700,” said Sam Angel. “We wanted to make enough to send three kids to camp next summer. We surpassed our goal by $400 and raised $3,100.”

Rob Angel, the father of the two young fundraisers, invented Pictionary, a popular drawing game. He lost a business partner and friend to AIDS in 1995.

“Gary Everson volunteered at Rise n’ Shine, so when he passed away, I sort of took over for him within the organization. And now, my children have honored his memory with this tournament. I am so very proud of them,” he said.

Rise n’ Shine offers mentoring, peer support groups, advocacy, summer camp and teen retreats for children and teens affected by HIV/AIDS. For more information about this organization, please go to

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