It’s been an eventful month for Valve co-founder Gabe Newell. Not only did he manage to launch Gnome Chompski into space, he also followed up on his promise to donate money to New Zealand’s Starship Children’s Hospital. Newell promised to donate $1 for every viewer that tuned into Rocket Lab’s rocket launch livestream. The Starship Foundation confirmed it received Nowell’s donation of approximately $286,092.
The multi-billionaire ended up being stranded in New Zealand during the coronavirus outbreak back in March. The donation to the children’s hospital was Newell’s way of saying thanks for the hospitality New Zealand has shown him. Prior to his donation, Newell also helped plan a free concert named ‘We Love Aotearoa’ which is scheduled to take place on December 19.
While enjoying his stay in New Zealand, Newell expanded his racing team, The Heart of Racing, to include a New Zealand branch. The donation to the Starship Foundation was made in the name of the developer’s racing team. Since 2016, The Heart of Racing Seattle team has raised over $6m for the Seattle Children’s Hospital.
To celebrate Gnome Chompski’s ascent into space, Valve unveiled a new achievement for Half Life 2: Episode 2 and Left 4 Dead. The achievement is called ‘Gnome Alone’ and will automatically unlock for anyone who boots up either game.
This little guy catapulted into space on Friday, raising $286,092 for Starship's PICU. @valvesoftware's Gabe Newell, @HeartofRacing23 , & @RocketLab – we are brimming with gratitude. A big shout out also goes to @EverydayAstronaut for supporting this very special mission. pic.twitter.com/dNWoEy0Kr0
— Starship Foundation (@captainstarship) November 23, 2020
If you’re interested in seeing what happened to Gnome Chompski on his return to earth, the assistant managing editor for NASA has posted a full breakdown of the recovery process on Twitter.