Since 2015, Renton-based Wizards of the Coast, a family of studios specializing in role playing, trading card and digital games, has partnered with Extra Life, an annual fundraising event where people from the gaming industry come together, to raise money for Seattle Children’s Autism Center.
This year, Wizards of the Coast hopes to raise more funds than ever with the drop of a limited-edition collection of Magic: The Gathering cards, of which 50% of each purchase goes directly to supporting Seattle Children’s Autism Center.
Wizards of the Coast worked with three extremely talented children from Seattle Children’s Autism Center and asked them to draw their take on iconic Magic creatures. Their artwork was handed over to Wizards’ all-star artists Lars Grant-West, Chris Rahn, and Magali Villeneuve to bring those drawings further to life. In every Secret Lair: Extra Life 2021 drop there will be two copies of each card —one with the children’s art, and the other with the professional artist’s interpretation.
Both families were contacted by Jaimie Sigesmund, a Family Advocate and Case Manager at the Seattle Children’s Autism Center.
“I’m still in shock that we were chosen,” said Nataly mother of Aliya and Kira. “They’ve always been little artists.”
Now age 5, Aliya and Kira were both two when they started going to Seattle Children’s Autism Center. After every Early Intervention Plan session, they would come home covered with paint.
Nataly allowed the girls to draw whatever they liked when they first received the drawing papers. “It doesn’t surprise me that they drew what they did, because they are kind of repetitive and like their art. But I will say they perfected their little creatures over time that they’re super obsessed with,” said Nataly.
Nataly described the girls as being “super happy and smiley” when they saw the professional artist’s interpretation of their drawing. Nataly and her husband were in complete shock when they saw the final product of their children’s drawing.
“It gave us insight into what they could be imagining and brought it to life. We can’t wait to show our family.”
In addition to Aliya and Kira, Hyan, age 6, was also chosen to participate. “When Jaimie sent me that email, I was really shocked and could not believe it. I had to read it twice,” said Huong, his mother. Huong had never heard of Magic: The Gathering before receiving the email from Jaimie, but after researching, she was excited for Hyan to be a part of the limited series. “I’m actually more excited than him,” said Huong.
Before Hyan was picked for the card release, he wasn’t a big fan of drawing. He was more interested in Legos and stacking blocks together. “He likes making things into robots. Drawing is not his strong suit but when you ask him to do something, he can do it.”
When it came down to drawing his character, Huong helped Hyan by asking him what he wanted to draw, and he answered, “Robot.” “He is really into the rainbow colors, so you see that the ears have the rainbow.”
Nataly and Huong are thankful and honored to have their children be apart of this limited-edition launch.
The limited-edition cards will be available to preorder on secretlair.wizards.com beginning 9 a.m. PT November 5 through 9 a.m. PT November 8. With your purchase, you’ll receive two copies of each card in the drop—one with the children’s art, and the other with the professional artist’s interpretation.
Thanks to the incredible efforts of the Extra Life community Guild and our friends at Wizards of the Coast, last year the Autism Center received an outstanding gift of nearly $750,000 to support program development, expansion, family support, training and more.