Changes Coming to San Antonio Nerd Night

Update 6/27/2020:

As our venues began to reopen, San Antonio Nerd Night had scheduled a Nerd Night event for Sunday, June 28 at Knight Watch Games. Today, the City of San Antonio alerted residents that virus spread was continuing to increase unchecked and that our hospital system was at risk of overload. Knight Watch Games has sensibly altered their hours and shop policies. The Nerd Night planned for Sunday, June 28th, has been cancelled. Please stay home, practice social distancing if you must go out, and wear a mask. We want to see everyone back at our events once it is safe to gather.


For the foreseeable future, due to Covid-19, San Antonio Nerd Night has reduced it’s schedule down to one Nerd Night a month.  This will be hosted on the 4th Sunday at our old haunt, Knight Watch.  The hours are being reduced to 2 PM to 6 PM.  Social distancing, when possible, and face mask rules are in place, so bring your nerdiest face mask, a donation, and your board games.

When things do start to return to normal, we will continue having our events on the first Thursday at Cherrity Bar, which has some great food and if you haven’t joined us for that venue yet, we highly encourage it.  We will announce here when those events start up again.

We will also be changing one of our regular venues and dates.  What was originally our 2nd Friday at Geekdom is going to be moving to 2nd Saturday at a new venue partner, Tabletop Generals and we look forward to holding events there soon.  Tabletop Generals is in a shopping center surrounded by restaurants and is also San Antonio’s first tabletop tavern, where you can purchase both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. It’s a unique location and we look forward to many late Saturday nights.  Tabletop Generals is a great partner already and there will be a bin located at the store for donations to our monthly charities, so you can make a donation even if you can’t make our events.  Look for the Nerd Night bin when you enter the store, it should be straight in front of you.

During these difficult times, we want to encourage everyone to shop local and visit all of our venue partners.  Knight Watch has regular hours and Cherrity Bar is still serving up some delicious food and drink.  And our newest partner, Tabletop Generals, has tables ready and waiting for your games.

Changes Coming to San Antonio Nerd Night2020-06-28T01:44:27-06:00

May Event for Literacy

An update on our recent event from your special guest host, Keller! (Steph had tickets to The Cure, so you can excuse her for taking a night off).

We had another great night last Friday at Geeks Cafe, raising awareness and donations for Book Buddies, an initiative of San Antonio Youth Literacy. They provide books to kids who may not otherwise have a book for the summer.  We had about 40 people come for the games, and they brought over 400 books!

We also learned about the importance of children’s literacy from the Book Buddies volunteer Kathy McPherson. She shared some stats about how important literacy is, especially for elementary school kids that are the focus of their program. Reading is so important for kids to succeed in school, and many households have few, if any, books. Getting books into the hands of children is a good way to help them out.

Kathy also really had fun with the games, and we enjoyed welcoming new gamers to the event (Special thanks to Veronica for sharing Smash Up!)

We’re looking forward to our June events to benefit the Texas Burn Survivors Society’s Camp David for pediatric burn survivors.

Wait, did I say “events”?  Yes, we’re having a second event in June: in addition to our regular 2nd Friday event at Geeks Cafe on June 10th at 7 PM, we’re also having an event on June 26th from 2-10 PM at Knight Watch Games!  The afternoon time gives more time for games and is easier to bring the kids.

See you there!

 

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May Event for Literacy2016-11-25T10:59:33-06:00

International Tabletop Day and Updates

Apologies for my absence from this blog lately, I started a new job and things have been super-crazy!

To start, here are some pics from International Tabletop Day. It was great to meet so many new people and see so many old friends. We collected some books ahead of tomorrow’s Nerd Night, and Kelly, Nathan and I handed out about 100 postcards to attendees. We had about 150 people at ITTD, so congrats to GaMExpo on a very successful day! The space at Wonderland of the Americas is huge, and that’s definitely something to keep in mind for future events.

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Giant GaMExpo game library!

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Silent auction. All proceeds to benefit San Antonio Youth Literacy!

 

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Knight Watch Games was one of the vendors.

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Childs Play

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Alamo City Fleet Command

As I mentioned, tomorrow is Nerd Night. We’re hoping for a huge turnout to support Book Buddies and San Antonio Youth Literacy. Pick up a kids book (here’s a link if you need ideas) and come play games with us at Geeks Cafe from 7-midnight. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend this month (*ahem* The Cure live in Austin! *ahem*), but I am leaving you all in the capable hands of Lisa, Keller and Nathan. I know it’s going to be a great night.

Lastly, our big news this month: San Antonio Nerd Night, Inc. is now a registered 501(c)(3) public charity! This means all donations are tax-deductible, among other benefits. Thanks again to everyone who contributed to our fundraiser to make this happen – you can now deduct that contribution from your 2016 tax return!

International Tabletop Day and Updates2016-11-25T10:59:33-06:00

The Big Give

Today’s a big day! The Big Give S.A. is all day today, May 3. For those who may not be familiar, The Big Give S.A. is a 24-hour day of giving. It’s organized by the Texas Nonprofit Council and the San Antonio Area Foundation, with the support of the New Braunfels Community Center and the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country.

The Big Give S.A. launched in 2014 with a goal of raising $1 million in donations for local nonprofits. They exceeded that goal, with $2 million in donations raised.

In 2015, The Big Give S.A. expanded to include the 11 surrounding counties and doubled the goal, increasing it to $4 million. Again, it was exceeded, raising over $4.3 million raised for local nonprofit organizations.

The goal this year is $6 million, and all the nonprofits we have helped in this past year or will help later this year are fundraising extra-hard today! Many are participating in special events all day. Here are their Big Give links. If a particular organization over the last year was special to you, or if one of our upcoming nonprofit partners has a special place in your heart, please give and GIVE BIG!

Elf Louise (November 2015/16)

San Antonio Food Bank (December 2015/16)

Family Violence Prevention Services (January 2016)

SAMMinistries (February 2016/July 2016)

Animal Defense League (March 2016)

San Antonio AIDS Foundation (April 2016)

San Antonio Youth Literacy (May 2016)

Texas Burn Survivor Society (June 2016)

The Rape Crisis Center (August 2016)

Texas Diaper Bank (October 2016)

For any questions about The Big Give S.A., you may reach a Big Give team member at 210.774.GIVE.

The Big Give2016-05-15T09:22:06-06:00

April Wrap-Up; Big News!

So I’m waaaaaaaay late with my April wrap-up post, apologies. It’s been a hectic few weeks. We had a successful evening a couple of weeks ago, you guys outdid yourselves with the donations once again. It’s very much appreciated.

I think we’ve finally figured out the right way to seat people at Geeks Café, so our overcrowding issues should be much alleviated. If that kept anyone away this last time, please come out and see us in May. I promise it will be better. We’re making much better use of the space, and we’ve obtained more chairs and tables. Thank you to Geeks Café for being such a great partner for this event every month. You guys are amazing.

Some pictures from the night… Not as many as usual due to operator (me) error:

Samantha, Sean and Stephanie playing Evolution

Samantha, Sean and Stephanie playing Evolution

Game Library

Game Library

Name Tags!

Name Tags!

 

SAAF Nerd Night Donations

Judy from SAAF posing Vanna-style with the donations table.

Our Big News

The 501(c)(3) is FILED! Hopefully our application will sail through in ways that defy everything any of us know about the IRS and we’ll have some good news to report on that front soon.

Also Very Big News

In June, we will begin hosting a second monthly event. This event will be a Sunday afternoon/evening version of Nerd Night, and we will have date, location, and all that good stuff ready to announce at the beginning of May.

Other (less, but no less awesome) Big News

We had our quarterly board meeting last weekend, and boy, are you guys going to be excited when some of the things we’re planning are ready to be made public! We’ve just about finalized the rest of the year’s partner organizations, and I think you guys will really be able to get behind all of these groups. We’re thrilled to be hosting book drives for Book Buddies at both of our next events (International Tabletop Day at Wonderland Mall and May Nerd Night), and I will be updating our calendar here to reflect all the groups we’ve made arrangements with through the end of the year. Some new faces, some old ones that we just enjoyed a heck of a lot.

As always, I want to express my gratitude for the support and generosity that you all have shown at every single Nerd Night event so far. None of this would be possible without all of you. Hope to see everyone at ITTD at Wonderland Mall on April 30th! Come on out and support a pile of local gaming organizations at the largest local ITTD event!

April Wrap-Up; Big News!2016-11-25T10:59:33-06:00

I don’t want your money.

I don’t want your money.

Now that I have your attention… I’m going to address something that only a couple of people have spoken to me about directly, but I’ll assume is more widely-thought based on some pretty clear evidence.

Last month, I launched a crowd funding campaign to raise money for a number of Nerd Night expenses – past, current and future hopes and dreams types of things – and to put it bluntly, the response has been underwhelming. I know the people who attend our events are generous folks, I see evidence of that every month when I load up piles of donations into my car. I see it when people smile and look astonished at the huge pile of stuff I’m unloading in front of their nonprofit’s offices. I see it when people text me asking what they can bring, what’s needed. I see it all the time. So I was surprised at the lack of contributions to the campaign, a little sad and hurt even. It was disappointing.

A couple of friends came to me after the March event and wanted to talk about it, they said that people had been burned by nonprofits asking for cash, they didn’t see what we needed the money for, they wanted to dissect our monthly expenses. I think (I hope) I did a pretty good job of listening. They had some good points. I’m probably going to take a few of their suggestions.

See, I know I’m a control freak. I’ve had (and I’ve been pretty upfront about this) a hard time relinquishing control of ALL THE THINGS to people who are willing to help. And that’s hard, because I need the help, so I have to let them in. I’m trying! Like I said, I see my failing here. But you need to understand:

Everything that’s been bought for San Antonio Nerd Night thus far (with one exception) has come entirely out of my personal bank account. Monthly postcard printing, the banner that hangs at our events, our web hosting, the Meetup group, social media promotion boosts, fees to file forms, the shirts people wear with the logo on it, gas to drive donations where they need to go, door prizes… It comes out to quite a bit of money. It’s money that’s just gone; most of it can’t be reimbursed, it was before we incorporated. I don’t begrudge any of it; I wouldn’t have started the group if it bothered me at all. It’s just not sustainable as we move forward.

Beyond that, now that we are a nonprofit, with a board of directors with different ideas about how we’d like to grow? They all bring amazing things to the table. I wouldn’t have asked them to help me if I didn’t adore their brains. But they all have ideas! So many wonderful, exciting, interesting ideas. And all of those ideas need THINGS. Now, I know we can’t do everything at once. We’re trying to grow in a measured way. But when something comes up that’s completely doable, if we just had a little capital, and we have to turn it down because there is $90 in the bank account, that’s very frustrating. None of us have the money to just write a check.

“But wait,” you’re saying right now. “I thought she said she DIDN’T want our money?”

I don’t. I wish I could keep paying for it all forever. But I can’t. In order for Nerd Night to become what I’ve imagined, what the board envisions, a charity organization with the ability to really make a difference in San Antonio, we need more than what I can personally fund. However, I respect what I’m hearing from those of you who maybe can’t trust where the money will end up. So, here’s a small breakdown.

  • We need $400 to file our 501(c)(3) paperwork, which is required to get tax-exempt status on everything we purchase for the group, from printing to t-shirts to games for the game library. This would save us a lot of money.
  • Approximately $420/year in web hosting and Meetup fees.
  • Approximately $40/month in promotional printing (postcards, signage, etc) for a total of $480/year. I get a very good deal on this, because I work for a printer.

This comes out to a total of $1300. I requested $2000 in the crowd funding campaign because I wanted a small cushion in the account for fronting projects that come up unexpectedly – things like economical t-shirt printing, or fees to participate in events like the King William Fair (or Fiesta in general) – we were invited to participate in that this year but have had to turn it down due to not being able to pay the booth fees – or a Nerd Night game library so that we’re not relying on my and other people’s personal game collections at our events. We have miscellaneous things that come up from time to time, like any organization. A binder to keep our meeting minutes in, or making copies of the bylaws before our initial board meeting so everyone could read them ahead of the vote, a fee to the state of Texas to do a search on our desired corporate name before filing our certificate of incorporation – you know, just expenses that any group trying to stay organized and follow the rules and put on great events might have.

This has gotten really long, and if the tone is different from my usual blog posts, I apologize. I’m frankly a little down about the money stuff. I love this group of people. And I look at San Antonio Nerd Night as more than just a gaming group. In fact, I don’t even think of it primarily as a gaming group – it’s a charity organization that happens to game. And as such there’s a certain amount of sacrifice I’m prepared to make personally. None of this money is for ME. It’s going into the SANN bank account. The crowd funding is set up as a “personal” fundraiser because we aren’t 501(c)(3) yet so I CAN’T set it up any other way.

If any of you have any questions about this and want to discuss it, please feel free to reach out to me or to any of the other board members. I’m going to be putting their contact information up on the website shortly. I don’t want to ask for your money over and over, I don’t want to ask for it at all. I’m hoping that with a little bit of seed money, we can make whatever money we might need to be self-sustaining. Please consider contributing.

– Stephanie

San Antonio Nerd Night Fundraiser on Crowdrise

I don’t want your money.2016-11-25T10:59:34-06:00

March Nerd Night Wrap-Up

Going to the Dogs

Hello again! Thank you to everyone for a super successful March Nerd Night. We gathered a ton of things for the Animal Defense League and I delivered them earlier this week. They were over the moon about the quantity of items. It’s always a good feeling when I drop off the donations, so thanks to all of you for a bright spot in my Monday.

Animal Defense League Donations

A note on Nerd Nights going forward. We know we were overcrowded, and we’re working with Geeks Cafe on a way to alleviate that – new table layouts, more chairs, maybe moving the sofas somewhere… long story short we know it was hard to move around and we want you guys to have a comfortable place to game, so we’ll work on it for next time!

Speaking of next time

April’s charity is the San Antonio AIDS Foundation. Spotlight to come soon. The date is April 8th. We’ll be gathering items for clients of their housing and hospice programs.

Our next event, though, is ReDo Recess at the DoSeum. I’m looking for a few people to come with us and hand out postcards, talk about Nerd Night, and help out with staffing their event. You’ll get a free ticket to Recess (which is a lot of fun) and also I’ll be decking you out in a fabulous Nerd Night polo that you can wear to future events! If you’re interested drop me a line (steph@sanerdnight.org) ASAP please.

Who knew you all were so photogenic?

Thanks to Lene Griego of Master Photography by LG for graciously sharing her photos of the event with me! So much nicer than my camera phone pictures.

Don Jennings - Animal Defense League - Master Photography by LG

Don Jennings from the Animal Defense League speaks about their mission.

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Don Williams - Animal Defense League - Master Photography by LG

Childs Play March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Childs Play had their mobile store at the event.

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Geek Out SA March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Geek Out SA doing that podcast thing they do.

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

This game involved donuts, I’m told. And there’s a kickstarter? Someone give me links.

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Red Star Gaming March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

Red Star Gaming

March Nerd Night - Master Photography by LG

March Nerd Night Wrap-Up2016-11-25T10:59:34-06:00

Crowdfunding, Nerd Night Updates

Hey nerds!

It’s been a while since my last post. Things have been busy at Nerd Night HQ, aka my house, and I figured it was time for a quick update.

Last month, five of your fellow Nerd Nighters and I gathered at my house and formed San Antonio Nerd Night, Inc. We’re now an official nonprofit corporation, registered with the state of Texas. We’re a board of six, and I’ll get some information up about the board soon once we determine how that’s going to be put out there. Our first order of business is obtaining our 501(c)(3) status, which is expensive and involves a lot of forms, like anything the federal government, and especially the IRS, is in charge of – so that’s quite an undertaking. To that end, we’re raising money on Crowdrise. You might have seen my posts on Facebook or Twitter about this, and I’ll speak on it more at Nerd Night on Friday, but the short version is that we need several hundred dollars for the application and I’m not able to front it myself. Thus, the wonderful world of crowdfunding. If everyone gives a little, we’ll have what we need in no time.

Nerd Night is this Friday! Join us at Geeks Cafe on Babcock and bring an item (or two or ten) to support the Animal Defense League of Texas. The donation wish list is available at this event link and there’s sure to be something there you can find easily at a store near you. We’ll have a guest speaker from ADL and her canine friend.

Joining us on Friday will be Childs’ Play Games & Geekery, a mobile game store run by Sarah Childs and based in New Braunfels. She is graciously donating a portion of all game sales to the ADL, so if you play a game you especially enjoy, see if she has a copy with her! They also offer local free delivery to the San Antonio area.

Speaking of generous Nerd Night partners, Geeks Cafe will be donating a portion of all food sales on Friday night as well. Do we have the best friends or what?

See you all on Friday night!

Crowdfunding, Nerd Night Updates2016-03-09T10:37:43-06:00

February Nerd Night Wrap Up

So, I know I say this almost every post, but…

You. Guys. Are. Awesome.

I won’t lie, I was worried about the venue change and all of you making the move to another part of town. But wow, did you all prove that I worry a lot over nothing! We had FIFTY happy game-playing nerds at Geeks Cafe on Friday, and you all collected an amazing amount of STUFF for SAMMinistries. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

February Nerd Night

February Nerd Night

 

February Nerd Night - Nathan's Room

Nathan’s Room

 

February Nerd Night - Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride

 

February Nerd Night - Paulina, Kelly & Shane

Paulina, Kelly & Shane

 

February Nerd Night - Keller, Aiden and friend

Keller

 

February Nerd Night - Vince

Vince

 

February Nerd Night - Winner!

Winner!

 

Melanie from SAMMinistries speaking to the group

Melanie from SAMMinistries speaking to the group

Anyway. Apologies for some of these blurry pictures, I’m apparently challenged when I don’t have a flash.

Our next Nerd Night is scheduled for March 11 and will again be at Geeks Cafe. We’re collecting items for the Animal Defense League of Texas. I will post a spotlight article very soon with details about what items they are in need of to take care of all the pups and kitties that are lucky enough to end up in this no-kill shelter.

Shameless plug time!

Art by Freddy Gonzalez

Art by Freddy Gonzalez

This fabulous piece of art has been donated to help raise money for SAMMinistries. Colleen and Vince of GaMExpo and Geek Out SA are handling a silent auction. Starting bid is $100. Get on over to their Facebook page and make a bid, y’all!

Speaking of Geek Out SA…

[youtube id=”0_0-UjV3Vx4″ width=”600″ height=”350″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=””]

Nathan and I stopped by to plug Nerd Night and talk about all things geeky. Give it a watch!

 

February Nerd Night Wrap Up2016-11-25T10:59:36-06:00

Nerd Night Reminder and Meetup Group Updates

Nerd Night Updates

Just a quick note to remind everyone of Nerd Night on January 8th at Magic Beans. We’ll be collecting item donations for the Battered Women & Children’s Shelter run by Family Violence Prevention Services.

A quick look here will tell you a little more about FVPS and the shelter specifically.

We are again planning a lot of open gaming, a raffle (Prize TBD by whichever game gets to my house first, curse you FedEx!) and possibly a Ticket to Ride or Catan tournament, depending on interest. I’ve got two new games I’d like to play – Dead of Winter and Castles of Mad King Ludwig – and one borrowed game I need to practice, King of Tokyo. I’ll be demoing some IELLO games at PAX South and it’s probably best to be able to explain it quickly and concisely before a command performance 🙂 So I hope some of you will let me use you as guinea pigs.

Meetup Group

In case you missed it, we now have a meetup group! There are almost 100 people subscribed to the meetup as of this morning, and I’m super excited for what that means in terms of publicity for Nerd Night and for the new people it may bring to the event. We have 15 Yes RSVPs as of this posting. Some of those are brand new folks, so there will hopefully be some new faces at the event this Friday.

Very important!

Here is the list of requested donation items from FVPS. Please give generously and often 🙂 I’ll be collecting these items into boxes/bags at Nerd Night and delivering them to the shelter next week.

Again, thank you! See you on Friday night.

Nerd Night Reminder and Meetup Group Updates2016-01-04T14:53:33-06:00
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