Doubling down on derby: Winning big against cystic fibrosis

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By Adam Brazeau 
CORNWALL, Ontario - Knowing the stakes are high for one player's son as he battles the deadly lung disease, a local sports team hosted a casino fundraiser in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

The Seaway Roller Derby Girls (SRDG) raised $4,300 (Scotiabank matched $2,000) for the Cornwall branch of the charity on Friday, April 11 at the Spotlight Hall.

Nearly 100 people tested their luck at blackjack, roulette, and poker on 11 casino tables manned by volunteers and derby girls.

SRDG's Angele 'Reckless Angel' Kisnics spearheaded the event with the support of her roller derby league. Her teammate Linda 'Lynch An-Aideur' Lynch knows the disease all too well. Lynch's 16-year-old son Myles was diagnosed with it at an early age.

Supporting Cystic Fibrosis Canada is now a priority to all SRDG members.

"We did it for Linda," said Kisnics. "The event was also a way to guarantee everyone went home a winner, regardless of their final chip count or poker face."

Kisnics credits Cornwall's PartyTime Entertainment for their major role in the success of the fundraiser. In addition to the gambling tables, the event planning/rental company supplied media and sponsor contacts.

"I hope we have this event every year. It's so energizing," said Lynch. "It's about helping everyone with cystic fibrosis find a cure."

For years she has wanted to host a fundraiser, but constant hospital visits to Ottawa and Toronto have completely filled her schedule.

"I've always been active, so to be able to work as one with the disease and athletic recreational activities is very fulfilling," she said.

Kim Baird, Cystic Fibrosis Canada - Cornwall chapter president, said the event will help bring awareness to the cause and fund vital cystic fibrosis research in Cornwall and SDG.

"The Seaway Roller Derby Girls did an amazing job putting this together," said Baird.

After working with the cystic fibrosis community for 25 years, she has seen the toll this disease can take on a person and their family.

"I applaud them for their energy. They fight a tireless fight," she said.

For more information, visit cysticfibrosis.ca.

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