01/31/12 When Desirae Major ’12 (Olathe, Kan.) was a sophomore, a senior on the fencing team talked about using the sport as a way to raise funds for charity. It would also be an interesting way to complete the senior service project. The best way, it seemed, would be to host a tournament with registration fees going to charity.

Major, who is a nationally-ranked saber fencer, thought it was a great idea at the time. But the tournament never got off the ground.

Now, Major, fellow senior fencer Elaine Wang (Taipei, Taiwan) and Danya Lopez-Garcia (Torreon, Mexico) are breathing life back into this unique fund-raiser with proceeds going to the Relay For Life of Culver. They will be conducting the Fencing for a Cure tournament on Saturday, Feb. 4.

“We thought we would see this through,” Major said, with the hopes that other fencers will continue the tournament in the coming years.

“We all know someone who has had cancer,” Lopez-Garcia explained, “and we had a passion to do something about it.”

Wang said the girls believe that every person who fences has also been personally touched by cancer in some form another. “It is a common cause. Everyone’s life has been affected by it in some way.”

The six-weapon (men and women’s epee, saber and foil divisions) open tournament has no age limits. The girls have already connected with several high schools in the Great Lakes-Midwest region and are contacting clubs, too. Individuals not affiliated with a team can also enter, they said.

The tournament will be conducted in the Steinbrenner Recreation Center on campus. People can register by going to askfred.net. The cost is $15, but people may donate more if they would like. The girls are hoping to draw 75 to 100 fencers for the event.

The general public is also invited, Major said, adding it is a great opportunity to watch a fencing tournament if you have never seen one. On-site registration begins at 9 a.m. with fencing to start at 9:30.

The tournament is one of the first events this year to help Relay For Life of Culver. Relay For Life is scheduled for Friday, April 20.