2021 Dragon's Den challenge coin ceremony

Dragon’s Den co-owner Russ Seamster (right) holds up the challenge coins that were given to Ori Massengale (left) and Justin Roy (center).

BOONE — Boone’s local games store, Dragon’s Den, honored three individuals for their roles in keeping the town’s gaming scene thriving on Saturday, March 12, with a challenge coin ceremony.

The Dragon’s Den Challenge Coin was established in 2020 by store co-owners Russ Seamster and Josh Shields as a way to recognize and show the community’s gratitude for those who have helped the “local hobby, nerd and gaming” community in some way.

“The difference between last year and this year is that last year, it was just Josh and myself putting forward names,” Seamster said. “The beauty about this year is that this year’s nominations were completely community driven.”

Receiving the honors in 2021 were Horton Doughton, Justin Roy and Ori Massengale, although Doughton was not in attendance. Seamster led the ceremony, announcing why Roy and Massengale were nominated and saying a few words about each.

“(Roy) was kind of unique, because he had multiple people submit his name as a coin challenge nominee,” Seamster said. “A lot of it had to do with his can-do, friendly attitude, very welcoming nature in the community, always being willing to teach people how to play different games … Overall, making not just Dragon’s Den, but the whole local gaming community feel very welcoming, open and that it belongs to everyone.”

Roy thanked those who nominated him, and thanked the people in attendance for their part in the gaming community.

“It’s not only very nice to hear that what I’ve been doing has been helping, but I thank everything (Seamster) and the people that come in here every day and teach people what to do. They show people what we do here as a community instead of pushing other people out, (or) keeping people from joining this little club we have,” Roy said. “It’s because of you guys that we are continuing to grow, that we’re making it through this pandemic and everything together.”

Of Massengale, Seamster said she was nominated for many of the same reasons as Roy, pointing to her willingness and teach games to new players, and especially her welcoming nature towards younger players who join the community.

“She does it because she genuinely loves these crafts, these hobbies,” Seamster said.

Massengale also thanked whomever nominated her, and thanked the community for what it means to her.

“I honestly am super glad to have met all of you and been able to help everyone in some way with different games in the community,” Massengale said. “Mostly because without you guys this town would not be the way it is; you guys make everything really nice.”

For more information about the Dragon’s Den, stop by the store at 43 Greenway Road, Suite O, in Boone or by visiting its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DragonsDenBoone.

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