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Sixth annual Scoops & Wickets to benefit Brook Lane's autism services

June 11, 2011|By MARIE GILBERT | marieg@herald-mail.com
  • Six-year-old William Coldsmith makes a wicket of himself and drives a croquet ball backwards Saturday during the annual Scoops and Wickets fun day at Brook Lane near Leitersburg.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

LEITERSBURG — Lawn games barely register a pulse in the United States, overshadowed by more physical sports.

But beneath the surface of those who enjoy such pastimes lies the competitive soul of a strategist.

Take Ryan West, for example.

He had never played croquet until Saturday, when he attended a fundraising event at Brook Lane.

But within minutes, he was attacking the course like a pro.

"I'm a quick learner," the Hagerstown man said. "Plus, I like to win."

Croquet was one of the featured activities at the sixth annual Scoops & Wickets, a fundraising event hosted by Brook Lane, which provides services for individuals with emotional and behavioral health concerns.

"Scoops refers to ice cream. But a lot of people don't know what a wicket is," said Kay Hoffman, Brook Lane's director of development.

In croquet, balls are hit with a mallet through hoops or arches known as wickets, she explained.

But if croquet wasn't your thing, there was bocce, a petting zoo, a barrel train, children's games and live and silent auctions that included an overnight stay in Baltimore and tickets to the National Aquarium.

Hoffman said the event was expected to draw about 300 people and raise between $15,000 and $20,000. This year's proceeds will benefit Brook Lane's autism services.

Brook Lane CEO Lynn Rushing said autism is "one of the areas insurance doesn't always cover. Many people have to pay out of pocket."

Money raised through Saturday's fundraiser will help those who need the services, but struggle to afford it, he said.

Brook Lane's autism program is working with about 60 children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 15, Hoffman said.

In addition to being a fundraiser, Rushing said Scoops & Wickets is "a way to open up the campus and give back to the community. It's a good, wholesome day for families."

There was no admission charge and all rides, games and activities were free, Hoffman said. In addition, food concessions were available at old-fashioned prices.

"It's because of the generosity of our sponsors that we are able to offer this event," she said.

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