The second annual Croquet for YANA event at Mark Isfeld Secondary School is scheduled for April 21.

The second annual Croquet for YANA event at Mark Isfeld Secondary School is scheduled for April 21.

YANA croquet charity event in Courtenay expands to help other charities

Looking for a fun family event while supporting a number of local charities?

Looking for a fun family event while supporting a number of local charities?

The second annual Croquet for YANA event at Mark Isfeld Secondary School April 21 is the perfect fit.

Christopher and Wendy Smith kindly initiated Croquet for YANA (You Are Not Alone) for 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 the Comox Valley.

The Smiths hosted the event last year the day after their wedding.

Last year, Chris lost his wedding ring somewhere on the croquet pitch and still has not found it, adding “… it must still be honeymooning!”

Although the Croquet for YANA event was successful, the Smiths understand that business owners can be overwhelmed by requests to support charities. 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.

Partnering this year with Mark Isfeld Secondary’s grad executive, the event has been named Drive One For Your Community.

This year, the event will feature Croquet for YANA, Drive One for the Isfeld grads (sponsored by Westview Ford), and donation opportunities for Relay for Life and prostate cancer fundraising groups.

There will also be a children’s play centre sponsored by 4R’s Education Centre, classic car viewing area and food and beverages for players and visitors.

The Smiths believe the concept of Croquet for YANA/Drive One For Your 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.

Just like mini golf, tickets are sold 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.

“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, local charities get 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.

So far, creative holes are being sponsored by Ronni Lister, Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Value Village, Chances Gaming, Thrifty Foods, Extreme Runners, Holiday Inn, Murphy’s Beds, Skates, On the Fly, Ford, Courtenay Spring/Welding, Kingfisher, Java Junction, Toneff Funeral, Enecon Alberta, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Highland Secondary School, Mark Isfeld Secondary School and YANA. Costco is a silent supporter as well.

Jeff Taylor, principal of Isfeld, added his school and students are pleased to be involved in the community fundraising.

YANA spokesperson Hugh MacKinnon gave accolades to the Smiths for their community leadership and sponsorship of this event and encouraged participation and thanked in advance support for YANA.

“A small community working together can accomplish amazing things,” added Smith.

Tickets will be available at 11 a.m. at pre-registration prior to the event, which starts at noon or by calling Mark Isfeld Secondary at 250-334-2428 or at the YANA office at 250-871-0343.

— You Are Not Alone

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