It has been several months since the 2019 Hunter Burton Memorial Open. It has taken our team a few months to get back on our feet and start the planning for our 2020 event… alas, that time is now!
First, we owe you all an apology. After the event we lacked in communication and in responses to questions on social media, recap posts and more. For that I will take sole responsibility. All we can do is apologize, explain and ensure we don’t let that happen again.
The HBMO team has been a very small unit of volunteers since its formation seven years ago. In the last few, we grew… to a total of four members. One month before our 2019 event we lost one of our most coveted and beloved team members, Jeff Zandi which not only left us short handed but also grieving. With help from some amazing people and sponsors we were able to hold our ranks and make the 2019 event the biggest and best HBMO yet (with nearly 1200 turnstile attendance across all three days.) After however, we all needed to take a step back, to grieve, to rest, and to regenerate our energy for the even bigger 2020 event. This meant the three of us stepped away to be with family, catch-up at our day jobs, and take a solid deep breath.
With all of that said… WE ARE BACK!!!
Now, before we get too far into this, there is an important detail we need to cover. A massive THANK YOU to all of you that attended our 2019 event. Because of you, we set a new HBMO attendance record. Thanks to you, a community of gamers and non-gamers alike came together spreading awareness to the growing issue of suicide in our community and in this country. We are eternally grateful for your support of this important cause and our event.
Second, to our sponsors. Simply put, we can’t thank you enough. I want to say a special thank you to a few of you here (in no particular order):
Ultra-Pro and Legion Supplies, you showed up in a big way to make every attendee walk away with something special. The level of support you gave is beyond what a simple thank you can cover.
Alter Reality Games, your custom donations and support were so generous and thoughtful. Jim and Brad you have been pillars in this industry, donating any chance you get and being outspoken for amazing causes! Thank you.
Reaper Miniatures, Ed and Bill you made major contributions that helped raise nearly $2000 for the foundation, thank you so much for all that you did!
Star City Games, yet another year that you supported our event and helped us promote beyond our reach. Thank you to Pete and the SCG team for all that you do!
Wizards of the Coast, Nelson Brown… you are just a lovely and amazing human. Thank you for your continued support and all that you do for Magic the Gathering!
Retro 51, Vickie, George, Richard, and all the team behind those amazing custom writing pens… WOW! You made our VIP packages one of the best in the gaming world with your contribution. Thank you!!!
Park Hill Fine Art Portraits, thank you so much for your donation. Having you as a sponsor has helped bridge our gaming community with non-gamers and helped make our opening event so special!
Generation X Comics, Wayne and Tabitha… you did it again! You made special events happen this year that honestly just wouldn’t have been possible without your help. Thank you for all that you do in the community!
Li-Kun, Elliott your music graced our ears and our hearts during the live stream and we thank you so much for letting us premiere your new music at our event. Thank you for supporting this cause!
Wilkinson Rhodes, Garrett, Bilinda, India, Thank you so much for your guidance and advice during our event planning. Your contributions were amazing!
Card Kingdom, Your team helped make events happen this year and your contribution was perfect to add a little extra to each area of the HBMO. Thank you!
Pluckers Wing Bar, Jamie man, you helped us out adding some local Texas flair and chicken wings to our event! Thank you to you and the Pluckers organization for all the gift cards!
Common Ground Games, Jamison thank you for standing by our cause and doing what you do. Your support for the last years has been much appreciated!
A very special thanks to:
AKON, the longest running anime convention in North America
Panini America, the best in the sports card industry
Madness Comics & Games in Denton, Jim Thank you!
Peachstate Hobby Distribution, Sito, Dan, Larry… You guys are amazing!
Direct Damage Cast, All the love Calvin! Thank you!!!
Doc’s Comics & Games, Murdock, you are a wonderful human! Thank you!
Darkhound Studios, your custom contributions have been a huge part of making our event special! Thank you!
Recycled Entertainment, your story makes us so proud to have you as part of the HBMO. Thank you!
Comic Asylum, Chris Mettler, Common Ground Games, Miniature Exchange, and everyone that donated to the Jeff Zandi memorial event, our deepest thank you!
To our Vendors & Artists: You all made amazing contributions! Thank you so much for all that you do! Dark Hound Studios, Reaper Game Store, Doc’s Comics and Games, Miniature Exchange, and Recycled Entertainment
To our judges… Thank you for all of your hard work. You are the nuts and bolts of what we do on event day and your hard work and dedication to our cause is amazing! Thank you for helping make 2019 (and every year) special.
Brian Valdez, Garrett Wilkinson, Rachel Laven-Purcell, Dequan Watson, Gerry Thompson, and Bryan Gottlieb:
We cannot thank you enough for what you have done for our event. You volunteered your time, your money, your services, your expertise, and your kindness to making the Hunter Burton Memorial Open special. You have helped us raise the awareness and professionalism of the event beyond measure. Dona, Joe and I are so very thankful for everything you have done for this foundation and most importantly this cause.
Now that our long overdue acknowledgements are done, we have some BIG NEWS!!!
First, The HBMO will have a booth at AKON in Dallas, June 28th – June 30th in the gaming hall at Dallas Fair Park. Stop by and see us to say hello, make a donation or purchase a T-shirt!
Second, the 2020 Hunter Burton Memorial Open will include new and improved aspects such as RPGs, board games and in some way, we hope to include Magic the Gathering Arena!
Last but certainly not least, WE HAVE LOCKED IN OUR 2020 date! That’s right, we’ll be returning to the Hurst Conference Center for THREE DAYS OF EVENTS!
Are you ready for 2020? Our team is hard at work planning the event so we’ll have lots of announcements in the coming weeks (including an introduction to some of our new team members!) Stay tuned as I am so excited to let you all in on the plans for this upcoming year.
Erin Giddings, Dona Burton, & Joe Klopchic
Director of Operations , Founder & Treasurer, Tournament Organizer
Hunter Burton Memorial Open