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Scoops & Wickets jump-starts support for Brook Lane gym

June 18, 2006|by ALICIA NOTARIANNI

LEITERSBURG - Dressed in a prim shift and a floppy brimmed hat of traditional croquet white, Vikki Nelson assumed her championship stance and took direction from Art Callaham.

"Lay away from the wicket," Callaham said as Nelson swung her mallet and sent her ball scampering through the green.

Nelson and Callaham were among a streaming crowd of people who crossed the brook and stepped into the sunny rolling meadows amid singing birds for a polite game of croquet Saturday at Scoops & Wickets, an ice cream and croquet social at Brook Lane.

Brook Lane provides services for adults and children with emotional and behavioral health concerns. Lynn Rushing, Brook Lane's chief executive officer, said the facility needs a gymnasium for residents of the Stone Bridge Transitional Care Home for Children and Adolescents and for students at Laurel Hall School.

Brook Lane currently serves more than 120 children and teens who need a place to exercise and participate in physical education activities, Rushing said.

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"Particularly in the winter, our activity space is very limited," Rushing said. "Our children and adolescent population greatly needs a space to burn some energy off."

Scoops & Wickets was a fundraiser to help answer that call. Rushing said the social is a new event that has generated excitement among community members and helped jump-start support for construction of the gymnasium.

Robert "Bo" Myers was chairman of the event. Myers said he has become familiar with Brook Lane's programs for children and teens through his work as executive director of secondary school administration for Washington County Public Schools.

"I would do anything to help out this facility," Myers said. "It's so good for the community. So many people use the services offered at Brook Lane."

The Scoops & Wickets planning committee originally set a goal of $20,000. That goal was surpassed in sponsorships alone, which brought in more than $21,000, Myers said.

Kay Hoffman, Brook Lane's director of development, estimated that more than 125 people had attended midway through the event. Family tickets for up to six people cost $20 and individual tickets cost $5. The price of admission covered croquet games, live musical entertainment, children's games, and live and silent auctions.

Brad and Sarah Barker of Williamsport and their three daughters, Victoria, 6, Sydney, 4, and Samantha, 2 months, sat in the shade of a tree cooling off with some homemade ice cream.

"This is great," Sarah Barker said. "The kids are having a blast."

Amy and Aaron House received tickets to the social through their employer, Bushey Feight Morin Architects Inc., an event sponsor. They decided to attend with their 4-year-old daughter, Delaney, who was a big proponent of the moon bounce, as well as Aaron's parents, Robert and Judy House of Frederick, Md.

"We all got together and came out," Amy House said. "On Father's Day weekend, we figured this would be a fun thing to do."

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