fencing photo

What do fencing and the Iowa City Public Library have in common? For Judy O'Donnell, the answer is obvious.

“One of the great things about libraries is that you can find information about anything there, so I thought (a fundraiser) would be a good way to spread information about fencing,” says O'Donnell, president and coach at Iowa City Fencing Center.

The Fencing Fundraiser will be held on Sunday, Jan. 26, and the Iowa City Fencing Center, 415 Highland Ave., Suite 200. There will be two two-hour sessions – 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. – with participation limited to 20 people per session.

Children as young as 6 years old can participate.

“We usually have a mix of kids, teens, adults and seniors at each session,” O'Donnell says. “Fencing is a true lifetime sport - there are even World Championships for the over 70 age group, so it's hard to be too old.”

The cost is $25 per person, with all proceeds going to the Library.

O’Donnell describes the sessions as a general crash course in fencing foil. Each session will include a brief talk about the different weapons, a little history, and a few fun facts about fencing. Participants will do a few warm-ups, followed by learning to stand on guard, and basic footwork of how to move forward, back, and lunge.

“After that, I teach people how to hold a weapon, and we get everyone suited up,” O'Donnell says. “They learn to salute, then a couple of ways to attack, a couple of ways to defend, a few simple rules, and then they start really fencing each other.”

To register, contact Iowa City Fencing Center at (319) 338-7171 or e-mail Registrations can be made up to the day of the event. Walk-ins will be accepted if there is space available.

“This should be a fun fundraiser for the Library,” says Teen Librarian Brian Visser. “I am thankful for Iowa City Fencing Center’s support and look forward to a fun afternoon on Jan. 26.”

For more information, contact Judy O’Donnell at (319) 338-7171.

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