- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 1, 2002

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) Medieval warriors from across the country gathered yesterday near Hagerstown to fight for a cure for cystic fibrosis.
The fund-raiser was organized by Christine Dunbar, a Frederick woman whose illness limits her participation in but not her enthusiasm for an international role-playing game called "Amtgard."
Unable to wield a sword or staff in mock combat, she figured she could still raise money for cystic fibrosis research by organizing a Battle for the Cure.
As of Thursday, 148 persons from 15 states had registered, and Mrs. Dunbar said she expected 50 more to show up for the event at the Wilson Ruritan grounds in Huyett, three miles west of Hagerstown. She hoped to raise $3,000 through contestant entry fees and other donations.
"Oh, my goodness," the 25-year-old former preschool teacher said. "I'm so surprised. I didn't expect such a big turnout."
The visitors included Chellie Young of Council Bluffs, Iowa, who battles with padded sword and shield as Lady Justine. Her faction, the Querna Tema Elvish for "shifting seasons" is based in Omaha, Neb.
"I wanted to show some support for this cause. I think this is a very worthwhile effort," Miss Young said.
A self-employed saleswoman for screen-printed T-shirts and credit-card processing equipment, Miss Young said Amtgard players often journey afar, including to the annual Gathering of the Clans, held a month ago near Albuquerque, N.M.
"Travel is fairly common, but this is something special," Miss Young said.
Mrs. Dunbar said the Battle for the Cure was the largest Amtgard event this year on the East Coast. She and her husband, Frank, belong to the Barony of Crystal Groves, a group of about 20 who meet most Sunday afternoons at City Park in Hagerstown to compete in garbed swordplay, archery and jugging (a form of football), and share food and fellowship.
Amtgard, the name of a mythical land between heaven and earth in Norse mythology, has kingdoms, duchies, baronies and shires across the United States and around the world, according to the group's World Wide Web site, amtgard.com.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes the body to produce a thick, sticky mucus that leads to chronic, life-threatening infections and impairs digestion.

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