BLAINE, Minn. - Some of the best curlers from across North America are in Blaine this weekend to raise money for lupus research and awareness.

"Amateur curlers get to raise money in order to pick their skip," explains event organizer Regan Birr.

Birr herself is living with lupus. The money raised by the event goes to support the Lupus Research Foundation.

In it's first year, "Lupus Spiel" raised nearly $23,000. This year, Birr expects that number to be close to $70,000.

"An event like this is the reason I love curling so much," says two-time Olympic curler Jessica Schultz of Richfield. "You're coming together with friends from across the country--and across the world--and you're doing something for a greater good."

About 150 people will take the sheet at the Four Seasons Curling Club this weekend. The event is free and open to the public.

There are draws on Friday night at 7:15pm and 9:30pm, and then again on Saturday at 9:00am, 11:15am, 1:30pm, and 3:30pm. Semifinals are at 9:00am and 11:00am Sunday morning, with finals taking place from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. A banquet follows curling events Saturday night from 7:00pm to Midnight.

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