Butler gaming group benefits community

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

For the past 25 years, a Butler County gaming group has donated more than $35,000 to local charities and families in need.

This weekend, as part of the 25th annual COSCON Gaming Convention and Expo in Butler, proceeds will help a Virginia boy suffering from seizures.

The money will help cover unreimbursed medical expenses for Jackson Schnur, 3, of Ashburn, Va., who has been diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, a form of childhood epilepsy characterized by frequent seizures that can cause developmental delays.

“It makes a huge difference,” Jeannie Schnur, 30, formerly of Clinton said Tuesday. “We rely on that support to help us to get through day to day.”

The founder of Circle of Swords, a group whose members participate in table-top games such as Dungeons and Dragons and live role-laying games, is Dave Schnur, 55, Butler County Housing Authority comptroller and uncle to Natrona Heights native Carl Schnur, Jackson's dad.

Through the years, Dave Schnur said, the group has had two conventions a year, COSCON in the spring and SIBCON in the fall. It has collected thousands of dollars through 41 conventions. Schnur estimated that the group collected more than $35,000 over the years, but an actual total is unknown because records weren't kept for several years.

“It's a social thing, sitting around a table with people, playing a game and having a good time, but it's more a social responsibility to our community,” said Ron Rummell, 40, of Slippery Rock, a club board member.

Schnur said some of the benefactors in the past have included the Butler Public Library, the Caring Angels program at Butler Memorial Hospital, and the county's historical society.

Schnur added that the group also makes donations to family members of group participants when they've run into problems.

Attendees to the conventions also bring canned goods to donate.

COSCON 2013 will be held Friday through Sunday at the Days Inn, 139 Pittsburgh Road, Butler. For additional information, go to www.circleofswords.com.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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