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Participants enjoy a past AMIkids Beaufort croquet fundraiser at Brays Island. Submitted photo.

AMIkids Beaufort to celebrate croquet at 31st annual Brays Island picnic event in May

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From staff reports

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, AMIkids Beaufort will again host croquet players and fun lovers from across the Lowcountry on Saturday, May 7 at Brays Island to raise money for the residential education and treatment program for boys who made bad choices.

AMIkids is part of a national organization but is locally governed. For 30 years, the Croquet Picnic has been the primary means of raising local money to help the program succeed.

“We are thrilled to once again be out in the open at Brays Island to celebrate AMIkids Beaufort through our croquet picnic,” Chair of the local board John Williams said in a release. “For two years we depended on our dedicated supporters to help keep us afloat without croquet, but now we’ve got the wickets painted, the grounds are being prepped and we are on schedule for May 7.”

At the Croquet Picnic, the Board of Trustees will announce a major and critical initiative for the AMIkids Beaufort campus.

The AMIkids model pays off: Young men who complete AMIkids typically don’t run afoul of the law, and many leave the program with job training such as nationally recognized certificates in welding and food service. In Beaufort, a federal YouthBuild grant and new carpentry workshop provide added skills and hands-on learning.

Every year, Brays Island and its owners donate the golf course practice range tee where eight 30×40-foot croquet courts are groomed to the finest playing conditions for the event, Williams said.

“We really consider Brays Island and its residents to be our partners. We couldn’t do this without them, and it’s such a spectacular setting for croquet,” said Mike Ingram, a board member at AMIkids Beaufort, co-chair of the croquet event, and Director of Golf at Brays Island. “They make this whole thing possible and we greatly appreciate them.”

AMIkids also partners with community service projects throughout Beaufort County. Male teens convicted of crimes can be assigned to AMIkids through the Department of Juvenile Justice. Students work toward their high school equivalency diplomas, also known as the GED.

The May 7 Croquet Picnic will be held from 10:30 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 the evening of May 6 at a waterfront home in Beaufort’s Spanish Point.

Teams of four to eight people compete in the friendly croquet tournament, said Dr. Mike Harris, a board member and co-chair of the AMIkids Beaufort Croquet Picnic. While some experienced teams participate, most teams are there just for the fun, friendship and a beautiful day of picnicking at Brays Island, he said.

“We have some seriously good croquet players, but for most of us, it’s a great day to be outdoors at Brays Island to support a good cause,” Dr. Harris said.

For more information or to sign up a croquet team, call Dr. Mike Harris at 843-524-3770 or Mike Ingram at 843-846-3149. To learn more about AMIkids Beaufort, visit www.amikidsbeaufort.org.

WANT TO PLAY?

What: AMIkids Beaufort’s annual Croquet Picnic

When: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, May 7

Where: The practice range at Brays Island Golf Course

To Register: To sign up a croquet team, call Dr. Mike Harris at 843-524-3770 or Mike Ingram at 843-846-3149.

More Information: To learn more about AMIkids Beaufort, visit www.amikidsbeaufort.org.

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