In the midst of all the pageantry, education, entertainment and combat, the efforts of members of our community helping those experiencing vulnerability can sometimes be overlooked. The Society remains committed to being the best we can, anchored in our core values and nothing demonstrates this like the actions of individuals in our groups giving back to others. For more than 17 years, members of the Kingdom of Meridies (Alabama, almost all of Georgia, a bit of the Florida panhandle, most of Tennessee, and parts of southern Kentucky) have been doing just that.
Meridian Grand Tourney is that kingdom’s preeminent event for field pageantry and heavy fighting, comprised of several qualifying tournaments that culminate into a final Grand tourney. One of these is the Francois Duvant Memorial Tournament, sponsored privately by the Order of the Chalice, which is beloved for its focus on service and spreading good works. Voluntary contributions and patron sponsorships are compiled from combatants and onlookers at the event, which combine with proceeds from a field lunch, to enable winners to direct a charitable donation. Past recipients include shelters devoted to the safety and wellbeing of women and children.
This year, Jarl Ailgheanan of Atenveldt proved victorious and together with his consort, Duchess Amber Bikkisdottir, asked that the proceeds be donated to The Trevor Project.* They wish to thank all who participated for their generosity, and the Order of the Chalice for institutionalizing a tourney promoting chivalric deeds that bring relief to those in need. They hope others continue to find ways to take the light generated from participation within the SCA and reflect it back onto their world.
The $5,000 raised at the event grew thanks to a generous employer match (some 2:1), plus another match arranged by the receiving charity, resulting in a total impact of $22,000. This brings the total donations raised by the Order and generous individuals to nearly $70,000 since the Tournament first began.
*The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth. LGBTQ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers, not because of their orientation, but because of the mistreatment and stigmatization in society.
Ailgheanan and Amber chose this charity to honor the memory of a young teen who they loved, a fixture in their home and close friend of their children, who was lost last year. Their hope is that other children can be saved.
For more information on the Kingdom of the Meridies check out their website. To assist those in need, please research charities in your local area.
For more information about this article or SCA.org, please email [email protected]
Photo by Debbie Chandler, used with permission
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