The threat of rain put a damper on the number of participants in the third annual Croquet for YANA fundraiser, but organizers say Sunday’s event was a big success overall.
“Considering the weather, we did well,” said Christopher Smith, who along with wife Wendy founded the tourney two years ago. In keeping with the concept of rotating the event among the Valley high schools, this year’s fundraiser was held at Highland Secondary School.
“Canadians proved that we’re tough and we’ll croquet in any type of weather conditions,” said YANA board director Hugh MacKinnon, who was resplendent Sunday in his finest Scottish outfit – topped only by the colourful costumes of the YANA team that took part in the croquet fun.
‘The YANA board was just thrilled with the number of businesses, the number of students, the volunteers and the members of the public who showed up. It was great, and much appreciated by YANA,” MacKinnon said.
“We are thrilled with the community spirit that surrounds this event,” added Marcie Dumais, executive director of You Are Not Alone, a non-profit group that helps families cover the cost of accommodation and expenses when a child is receiving medical treatment outside of the Comox Valley.
MacKinnon estimated the croquet and silent auction raised approximately $1,600 for YANA. He said YANA’s partnering with high school grad fundraisers and other non-profit fundraisers is a good concept and provides a low-key, fun day for people.
On-site this year was a tent promoting the Comox Valley Telus Motorcycle Ride For Dad, which goes June 14.
Highland students held a car wash, and Smith notes all proceeds from concession sales (which were brisk, with Thrifty Foods supplying all the food) went to Highland.
He added that participation in Westview Ford’s Drive One for Your School was way up from previous years, with some 70 drivers taking a Ford out for a spin.
Lorne Dakin of Westview Ford, who was at Sunday’s event, explained that for every test drive the dealership donates $20 to the school (to a maximum of $6,000), and the school designates how the funds will be used.
Smith noted that more businesses are constructing their own “holes” for the croquet tourney, which is set up similar to a mini-golf course. Home Depot won the YANA Spirit Award for their creative hole design.
Another favourite was the Toneff Funeral Services hole, replete with tombstones and a casket with a bottle of wine in it that was raffled off at the silent auction.
The high schools renewed their rivalry for best-designed hole honours, and Robb Road wrested the title from Highland by proving “Grads from 2014 Are Not Smarter than a 4th Grader.”
“It seems that all the 4th graders were smart enough to vote for themselves, and that put them over the top,” Smith said. “It was tight though. All the teams (Mark R. Isfeld was the other entry) were separated by one and two votes.”