WoW Player Will Race to Level 85 for Charity

Rob "Scrawn" Flaska and his friends will be gaming for a good cause as they host a marathon Cataclysm session to benefit Free Wheelchair Mission. We talked with Rob to get more details on the event.

UPDATE: Rob ultimately dinged 85 in the final hour of the WoW marathon. While he didn't achieve his goal of a world first level 85 character, his team did raise more than $1,600 for Free Wheelchair Mission.

It's safe to say that most World of Warcraft fans have plans for tonight. Once midnight PST hits, Cataclysm will go live and bring with it a new level cap, two new races, new zones, and much more. Your guild is ready, friends are standing in line with you at your local video game store (unless, of course, you digitally pre-ordered the expansion), and copious amounts of caffeinated beverages have been purchased. What could be better? How about playing a game you love for a good cause? That's exactly what a group of players in California are doing for the next two days.

Rob “Scrawn” Flaska is an avid WoW player who has achieved several milestones since he started playing in the friends and family alpha, back when the highest level was 10. Once Cataclysm launches in a few short hours, Rob will be attempting to be the first person in the world to reach 85. Yeah, yeah, him and about a million other people, right? Well, Rob has a little experience in this area, including several server firsts when Wrath of the Lich King was released. And while it may be his personal goal to race to the level cap, his main motivation is to raise money for charity.

Rob is attempting this feat to support the Free Wheelchair Mission, a nonprofit organization that builds inexpensive wheelchairs for those less fortunate in developing nations. Rob, along with a group of friends and guildmates he has been playing with for many years, will be taking donations, holding raffles and hosting events during a 48-hour Cataclysm marathon that begins today at noon PST and ends on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at noon. All proceeds will go directly to Free Wheelchair Mission.

Rob explains how he got connected with the charity: “It's kind of a fun story. I donated $60 toward Free Wheelchair Mission about two months ago when I met some of the people at the Avalon Ball on Catalina Island. They're super cool. Basically, $59.20 gets a wheelchair into the hands of somebody that needs it. Two weeks later, one of the heads of the charity dropped by my personal residence and gave me a book about their cause. I was already thinking about doing a WoW marathon, and I said, 'we're working with them.' I've never had anybody be that nice. I know they're super busy and they still came out.”

Rob and his friends will be gaming out of the CGC Internet Cafe in Lake Forest, CA. Anyone interested can tune in to watch Rob attempt to reach his goal. Live feeds will be available of the in-game action, as well as the real life antics taking place as they play. “It's an awesome venue. They have such a great setup, so anyone who wants can hop on the website and watch us. We're an interesting group, that's for sure!” he said.

“We're trying to raise $32,000 since that's the cost to send a crate of wheelchairs directly to a certain country. That's how they keep their costs down,” he said. “I teach martial arts for Z-Ultimate and my girlfriend is a ballroom dancer, so we use our legs quite a bit. It struck both our hearts as something that could be pretty sweet. Most people who don't have use of their legs have one wish: mobility. That's my main drive. We're asking for any and all donations to give to the cause.”

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