Looking for a fun family event while supporting local non-profit YANA (You Are Not Alone), and the Mark Isfeld and Highland grads? Then the fourth annual Croquet for YANA event at Isfeld Secondary School in Courtenay on Sunday, May 1 and at Highland Secondary May 8 is the perfect fit.
The event will include the popular annual Croquet for YANA, the opportunity to test drive a new Ford vehicle, and grad car washes and barbecues.
Christopher and Wendy Smith initiated Croquet for YANA, in support of the local non-profit group that helps families cover the cost of out-of-town accommodation and expenses while a child is receiving medical treatment outside of the Comox Valley.
The Smiths started hosting the event three years ago, the day after their wedding. Chris lost his wedding ring somewhere on the croquet pitch and still has not found it saying “… it must still be honeymooning.”
Although the Croquet for YANA event has been successful, the Smiths understand that business owners can be overwhelmed by requests to support charities. So they began to explore ways to add to the charity event but lessen the blow to the business community by combining a number of charities under one tent. This year the Smiths are partnering with the Mark Isfeld and Highland Secondary grad executives to help with their grad fundraising.
The Smiths believe the concept of Croquet for YANA/Drive One for the Community is all about giving local business exposure for their charity efforts. Each supporting business is given a plot of land on the croquet field to advertise themselves anyway they want, but they must also add a croquet ‘hole’ with a start and end, and at least five wickets. It is just like mini golf.
Tickets are sold, by donation, to players wanting to play the various creative holes. Players are encouraged to wear colourful costumes and decorate or dress their mallets. Croquet equipment is all provided by the Smiths and no experience is necessary.
The activity is suitable for all ages. Last year, croquet players ranged in age from five to 90 years.
“It is a win/win,” said Smith. “Local businesses get to interact with the community, and the community gets a fun event to enjoy, and most important YANA gets much-needed support.”
Apparently a number of businesses are going the extra mile this year staffing their creative croquet holes with greeters to add instruction and encouragement to players.
Both school principals, Mark Isfeld’s Jeff Taylor and Highland’s Dean Patterson, support the events as part of YANA week in the schools.
YANA spokesperson Hugh MacKinnon gave accolades to the Smiths for their community leadership and sponsorship of this event. He also encouraged participation and thanked in advance support for YANA.
“A small community working together can accomplish amazing things,” Chris Smith said.
“Let’s come together on consecutive Sundays at 11:30 a.m. — 3 p.m. and support YANA, recognize the businesses that support our community and make some memories.”
Tickets, by donation, will be available at 11 a.m. at the pre-registration table in the parking lots at both schools prior to the event.
For more information, contact Chris Smith at 250-339-1860, Isfeld Secondary at 334-2428, Highland Secondary at 250-339-5525 or the YANA office at 250-871-0343.
And, remember, in the Comox Valley, You Are Not Alone.