WESTMINSTER — Sandy Scott has a vested interest in raising money to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis.
Scott, Westminster's chairwoman for Bowl USA, an annual fund-raiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, has twoyoung children with the inherited disease, which affects the lungs and digestive tract.
"The fund raising is my way of knowing that I am doing my best tohelp my kids add years to their lives," she said of her son Wesley, 8, and daughter Lindsay, 6. "I do not want my children to have to dieyoung."
Scott, a 34-year-old Westminster resident, will chair hersecond bowl-a-thon at Westminster's Thunderhead Lanes from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. this Saturday.
"Overall, I have been involved for three years at Westminster," said Scott. "The first year I helped another person organize the bowl-a-thon."
Cystic fibrosis is the No. 1 genetic killer of children, says Melanie Marion, director of special events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Maryland chapter. One in 20individuals carry the CF gene, and a new case occurs in one out of every 1,800 births.
"Fifty percent of the kids that have CF do not make it to their mid-20s," Scott said. "There are a variety of symptoms that are associated with the disease, but it is the sticky, mucousbuild-up keeping air from the lungs that can eventually suffocate the child who suffers with CF."
Scott, who is co-owner of The Hickory Stick in Westminster, began her efforts in 1986 when she was teaching health education to ninth-graders at North Carroll High.
Contacted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Scott became aware of the manyfund-raisers specifically conducted to benefit CF victims.
"The foundation typically calls parents of children with CF to let them know that they can help through fund raising," Scott said. "They suggested the bowl-a-thon to me, and I thought it was a good idea."
In her first fund-raising effort, Scott chaired the 1986 bowl-a-thon at Hampstead Bowling Center and, with the help of her students, raised nearly $2,000.
Scott received the same support from her students at North Carroll in 1987, when she chaired her second bowling fund-raiser.
"My kids from school came out and supported the bowl-a-thon," said Scott, who left her teaching job in 1987. "It was a good age groupto get involved, and they had a lot of compassion and concern."
Since moving to Westminster three years ago, Scott has been raising money closer to home with the support of her friends and community.
"Those most likely to bowl will be those that know someone that has CF," she said. "Since our home is in Westminster, the move to Thunderhead Lanes made a more convenient place for our friends and people from our church who wanted to bowl and help us out."
About 30 bowlersparticipated in the bowl-a-thon last year, raising nearly $2,800.
Scott is hoping for a larger turnout this year and, of course, more dollars.
"Personally, I would like to see more bowlers and Westminster earn $3,000 this year," Scott said. "The goal for the 30-plus bowling centers participating in the Baltimore metropolitan area is $100,000."
Money raised will go to research which has, in the last two years, identified the CF gene.
"We are hoping for a cure in the next three to five years," Scott said. "They are so close to gene therapy, which would allow a normal, healthy gene to be transplanted into the lungs and do the job for the unhealthy CF gene."
ThunderheadLanes in Taneytown will also sponsor a bowl-a-thon for CF from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Information for Westminster bowl-a-thon: Scott at 857-5189; for Taneytown: Lisa Davis at 751-1560.