With needs ranging from new laundry facilities to a welding room, next month’s AMIkids Beaufort croquet tournament fundraiser brings great need — but also great fun.
“This event offers a perfect day for croquet and picnic lunches, and we raise money for a great cause – helping young men earn a second chance,” said John Huntley, chairman of AMIkids Beaufort. “This is our 22nd Annual Croquet Tournament and each year it seems to get better.
“We have wonderful hosts at Brays Island and it’s a beautiful setting,” Huntley said. “We appreciate the croquet teams that sign up to play, we appreciate the people who donate to AMIkids Beaufort, and we appreciate everyone who contributes to make this annual event a success.”
The residential facility in Dale provides not only education but numerous hands-on educational opportunities, treatment and behavior modification. AMIkids also partners with eight community service projects throughout Beaufort County. Only male teens convicted of non-violent offenses can participate. Students work toward their high school equivalency diplomas.
The May 11 golf croquet tournament will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Brays Island off US 17 in Sheldon, about 15 miles west of Beaufort. A “Captain’s Party” for all participants will be held May 10 at the historic Marshlands home of Brantley Harvey Jr. in Beaufort’s National Historic Landmark District.
Teams of four to eight people are encouraged to enter, and period costumes are one of the hallmarks of the annual tournament. The teams bring a picnic lunch to enjoy, and there is lots of space to set up a team tent with a prize being offered for the best looking tent/picnic display.
“We have a lot of fun with the croquet and it ranges from serious players to people just out for a fun day for a good cause,” said Dr. Mike Harris, co-organizer with Mike Ingram of the AMIkids Beaufort croquet tournament. “This event is more of a picnic than a tournament. A proficiency at croquet is definitely not a requirement for an enjoyable afternoon.”
During the croquet day, a silent auction helps raise money for the program, formerly known as Beaufort Marine Institute. Items range from golf outings to catered dinners aboard yachts and in historic mansions, from custom jewelry to vacation getaways.
Specialty auction items so far include a champagne evening cruise aboard the sailing vessel Spindrift with dinner for two at Sweetgrass Restaurant on Dataw Island, and a Bosom Buddy Bag Garden Basket — a handmade summer basket made of natural Ata grass, which normally sells for $200.
“We are proud that AMIkids Beaufort is a leader in helping these young men find a fresh start toward a better life,” Huntley said. “Our staff puts in long hours and the young men put in their best effort — and as a result we see great accomplishments.”
For more information, to offer silent auction items or to sign up a croquet team, call Dr. Mike Harris at 843-524-1762 or Mike Ingram at 843-846-3149.