| The Mallett - Summer 1995
by Bill Prentice
There is no doubt about it, croquet is a big hit on the summer schedule in Southern Ontario, especially when it is on behalf of a worthwhile charity.
What makes a good, fun-filled charity tournament? This question is often asked... and the simple answer is a reasonably good lawn. Not a great putting-green lawn, but something that resembles a good croquet lawn. Once you have found that, then the next step is easy. Gather some friends around you who are energetic and have a mutual interest in doing a good deed such as raising some money for their favorite charity.
During the past few weeks, successful croquet events have been held by groups of friends with only a vague notion about the sport. They are drawn by the image and charm of croquet and think their clients and customers would like to experience the "sociable sport". People I have talked to say that almost everyone would like to have a day of croquet and are thrilled to be asked to play for a charity.
Once you have a group together, then you call someone at Croquet Canada and they will be more than pleased to offer directions and expertise. Experienced Croquet Canada members will recommend that any group planning a charity event should take an important step... immediately decide to hold a "golf croquet tournament played under USCA official rules". Most organizers will stress the need for a format for the tournament. When dealing with a large group of 50 or more players, it can be more rewarding for participants if there is structure such as a regular golf tourney, or tennis event. If you cannot sell at least 50 players to compete, then it becomes impossible to raise any sizable amount of money, even when charging $100.00 per ticket. The next step is to have one of your creative friends write and print a super invitation card. This can be your main selling tool. You can announce that the tournament is being held under the direction of Croquet Canada and that everyone will learn to play with large mallets, one pound balls and Jacques famous cast-iron wickets. They will receive an introduction to the fastest growing sport in North America.
Recently, a woman came off the court in a charity event and said, "this is much more fun than golf. I like the interaction with people... and gosh I was thrilled to score a wicket for our team".
To review the steps to a successful and profitable charity event here they are:
- 1) Gather some like-minded friends around you.
- 2) Write Croquet Canada.
- 3) Find a reasonably good large lawn that you can use for the event, the larger the better.
- 4) Print a dynamic, attractive invitation card and mail it to your friends and business customers. Follow up with a personal call to sell them.
- 5) Finally, when everything seems to be a go, then make certain you include a gourmet luncheon with the invitation. That usually clinches the occasion.
We can't begin to tell you all the details of a successful charity croquet event, but we can make it easy for you-just call us at Croquet Canada. Lean on us and we will make you heroes with your friends. But most important of all... a worthwhile charitable cause will benefit from your sincere efforts to assist those less fortunate than yourself.
- Bill Prentice