When a member of the Marche of Gwyntarian, located in Akron and Kent, Ohio, needed surgery for cancer, neither her employer nor her husband's offered any kind of medical benefits, and the couple had to pay for everything out of pocket. Members of Gwyntarian and other nearby groups set up a fund at a local bank to collect donations to help with expenses. Alderford, which like Gwyntarian is part of the Barony of Brendoken, was fortunate enough to have a member who could arrange space at a local church's gymnasium at no cost. Invitations were sent out, and about thirty people from the Baronies of Brendoken, Middle Marches, Cleftlands, and elsewhere turned out for an indoor tournament and melee practice.
Fighters squared off in the large space, first with one-on-one and "bearpit" style bouts and then in a melee with just shy of 20 participants. People brought various snacks and even some main courses, and Forester Offria Pinkhand donated a dozen hand-made arrows to create a one-item silent auction.
Various gentles hired fighters as "mercenaries" to challenge other fighters, with all the proceeds going into the donation jar. At one point, a certain nefarious Byzantine merchant (ahem....me) hired a fighter to challenge the Baron of Brendoken on grounds that "You are ugly and your mother dresses you funny!" After the fight, a highly honorable Byzantine merchant (ahem...also me) proclaimed that such an insult could not be tolerated, and promptly hired none other than the Baroness of Brendoken herself to take up a battle axe and "behead" the offending rascal.
All told, the participants raised US$420, which as it turns out nearly covered one bill that was just coming due. (Of course, the money collected was handled as private donations, and never mingled with SCA funds.)
Throughout the day, THL Milica took many photos of the fighters, and though she intended them just as snapshots, the waning afternoon light through the high windows of the gymnasium made for some excellent photographs that we hope you will enjoy.