By Wendy Nilsen Pollitzer
Last weekend, Brays Island hosted the 20th Annual Croquet Tournament to benefit AMIkids (formerly Beaufort Marine Institute). This year’s event broke a fundraising record for the annual sporting classic. The tournament successfully raised $88,000 for AMIkids, an organization that provides a second chance for young men who would otherwise be sent to jail for their non-violent offenses.
AMIkids Beaufort was started in 1985 by seven locals who saw the need for a facility to redirect kids who have been referred by the juvenile justice system or have failed in traditional school settings. Since then, AMIkids has shown hundreds of young South Carolina men ages 14-17 a way to change their lives.
Mike Ingram, Board Chairman of AMIkids commented, ““When you combine the labor of the hard working staff we have at the institute, a dedicated board of trustees, the many volunteers and the hundreds of financial patrons, you get results that matter. At the end of the day, these collective efforts are changing young men’s lives and making them educated and productive citizens in tomorrow’s society, and that’s a good thing!”
Representative Shannon Erickson (R-Beaufort), a vocal and strong supporter for AMIkids in Columbia, was the Grand Marshall of the tournament.
This year, organizers raffled off a 1949 MG TC in mint condition with tan leather, wire wheels and right steering. Fifty-four tickets were sold at $500 per ticket. The lucky winner of the car was Brantley Harvey.
Other prizes auctioned off included a slip up to 40 feet for the Water Festival at Port Royal Landing Marina and a room for the second Saturday (July 23rd) of Water Festival at City Loft Hotel; a round of golf for four at Harbor Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island; and a 14kt. Brays Island Brooch made exclusively by Modern Jewelers.
A cocktail party was held at the home of Brantley Harvey on Friday evening in the historic Old Point. Tournament participants enjoyed delicious tapas prepared and served by Beaufort Catering before their big day of Croquet at Brays Island the following day.
Here are some photos of the cocktail party and the croquet tournament.