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Extra Lifer Shares How to Maximize Your Employer’s Charitable Donations

For the past several years, Siebren Bakker has been raising money for Benard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital Albany Medical Center as the captain of Fragforce. Siebren has raised an incredible amount, over $10,000 USD this year alone! Siebren was one of the first people to break the $5,000 USD mark in 2020 which netted him a free DXRacer chair done up with Extra Life color schemes and designs!

Siebren’s playful spirit shines at Extra Life United 2018

We reached out to Bakker to ask how others can follow his example and what keeps him motivated to get out and raise money for his local children’s hospital.

Jack Gardner: You’re the team captain of Fragforce – can you tell me a bit about how you came to be in that position and what you and the rest of the team has done over the years for Extra Life?

Siebren Bakker: It only takes a single person to change things for the better. Fragforce was started because one of my coworkers asked me if we had ever heard of Extra Life, and we being engineers, we all immediately googled it, and declared it to be an awesome thing that we should do. 5 minutes of spit balling ideas for a name, and we settled on Fragforce, created the team, and ran with it. I was just the individual who created the team initially, and volunteered to be the captain at that time. Since then, Fragforce as a team has exploded in both locations, as well as fundraising efforts, crossing the $500,000 lifetime raised mark last year, and just continuing to blow our expectations out of the water.

JG: 2020 is your fifth year fundraising for Extra Life and in that time you have raised tens of thousands of dollars for your local hospital. What initially got you involved in Extra Life?

SB: Initially I just participated in Extra Life because I thought it was a great idea, and an amazing way to turn nerd energy into a force for good. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to meet the community, tour several CMN hospitals, as well as meet a number of miracle children, and they’ve all inspired me to continue to be passionate about what Extra Life is doing.

JG: How did you manage to reach the $5,000 USD benchmark to be eligible for the DXRacer chair? 

SB: I was one of the top 100 volunteers last year, and was given a $10,000 grant to go towards charity this year, so I made sure that went to my Extra Life account supporting the Bernard and Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center

JB: What tips can you give others out there who would like to start fundraising on their own but aren’t sure how?

SB: Don’t be afraid to start small, and don’t become discouraged if you don’t raise thousands of dollars right away, every single dollar that you manage to raise does really make a difference, and is a huge help!

JG: Now that you have your DXRacer chair, what do you think of it? 

SB: The chair is going to make a beautiful addition to our board gaming table! 😀

JG: If you want to add anything, please feel free!

SB: I wouldn’t be here today without the help of everyone else on my team, as well as the amazing community that is built up around Extra Life. Everyone involved is an amazing person and should feel proud of all that they continue to contribute for this amazing cause.

Thank you so much to Siebren for taking the time to talk with us and being one of the amazing people that keeps Extra Life going year after year. Extra Life wouldn’t be possible without that enthusiasm for fundraising on behalf of children.

If you’d like to win your own Extra Life DXRacer chair, simply sign up to become a platinum member to earn milestone incentives for Extra Life fundraising. This can be done while signing up or by upgrading your status. Once you have done that, you will need to be one of the first 200 people to raise over $5,000 USD!

Don’t forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!