Skip to main content

Sacramento-area Extra Lifer given national award, named Most Innovative Captain

Woman holds a plaque naming her Most Innovative Team Captain 2020 for Extra Life.
Amber Gillespie of the Sacramento Extra Life Guild was named 2020’s Most Innovative Team Captain.

Despite the pandemic, Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospital’s Extra Life (EL) program saw fantastic growth in 2020. Raising more money through this gaming platform than ever before, team captains like Amber Gillespie were instrumental. UC Davis Children’s Hospital alone increased funds raised by 40 percent, and Amber had a lot to do with it. But her support did not stop there.

That’s why Amber was named 2020 Most Innovative Team Captain, a national award presented by CMN Extra Life leadership. A dedicated player and team captain, Amber goes above and beyond, with innovative game play and engagement at every level of the organization.

Extra Life unites thousands of players around the world to fundraise and game in support of local CMN Hospitals. As a long-time supporter of the Extra Life program, Amber decided to make it her own platform four years ago. Not only did the local team see exponential growth, Amber played a critical role in the success of teams across the CMN Network by sharing best practices.

“Amber makes herself available anytime for anyone interested in Extra Life. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for the Sacramento market or not,” said Michelle Thompson, associate director for CMN at UC Davis. “She’s in this for the long haul and I am so thrilled she was recognized nationally. Amber is so deserving.”

Amber was in the top three for the hospital leaderboard and stayed in the top 20 in California for her personal gaming efforts. But that was not enough. She joined the CMN Business Development Council at UC Davis Children’s Hospital to better engage staff and the local community. Amber helps local businesses and influencers with their Extra Life events, giving tips and support to ensure success. Having her finger on the pulse of what’s happening nationally gives she and the Sacramento Guild of Extra Life an advantage.

“Amber is often more up-to-date than anyone else on what’s happening nationally. She’s become the ‘end all be all’ for all things Extra Life,” Thompson said. “Amber is a master at networking. Bringing the community together was the biggest part of our success in 2020.”

CMN’s Extra Life program is hoping for more record-breaking participation in 2021 events, including the upcoming Tabletop Appreciation Weekend, Aug. 21-22. For more information about the Extra Life community and how you can show your commitment to changing kids’ health and changing the future, check out Extra Life or contact Amber Gillespie through the Sacramento Extra Life Guild Facebook page.