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Brook Lane Health Services hosts eighth annual Scoops and Wickets

June 08, 2013|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI | alnotarianni@aol.com
  • Leah Henry, 9, plays croquet Saturday during the eighth annual Scoops and Wickets event on the grounds of Brook Lane Health Services near Leitersburg.
Submitted photo

LEITERSBURG, Md. — The name is quizzical to the unfamiliar, but makes perfect sense to those in the know.

Brook Lane Health Services hosted its eighth annual Scoops and Wickets event Saturday at the hospital’s Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road campus near Leitersburg.

“Scoops is for ice cream and wickets is for croquet,” said Kay Hoffman, the hospital’s director of development.

Hoffman said the hospital conceived of the event as a family fun day, and figured ice cream and competitive croquet would do the trick.

While the competitive croquet idea didn’t take off as expected, in a manner similar to popular golf tournaments, families have enjoyed putting around. So a more casual version of the game, and the name, stuck.

Hoffman expected about 300 people to attend the free 3 1/2-hour event, which she said is held primarily as a community service, but also to raise awareness of the hospital and its services.

In addition to ice cream and croquet, Brook Lane offered the equally quaint game of bocce, along with a petting zoo, moon bounce, balloon art, face painting, marble art painting and “gold-mining” through birdseed for pennies.

“It’s a wonderful family day where people can bring their children and let them run across the lawn,” she said. “We want people to come out and enjoy being on our beautiful campus. Sometimes, people don’t even know where we are. We really are kind of a hidden gem.”

Allegany Dental Care helped run games at the event. Antietam Pediatric and Adolescent Care was the main sponsor, covering most of the costs, Hoffman said.

“We partner and work together in the interest of healthy children,” she said.

Hoffman said Brook Lane is the only hospital in a 75-mile radius that provides inpatient mental health care for children and adolescents as well as adults. Last year, the hospital turned away about 400 children because it didn’t have enough beds. This year, it expects to turn away 600, Hoffman said.

In response, Brook Lane has kicked off a Kids Need Room campaign. According to Brook Lane literature, the hospital received a state grant that will match dollar for dollar the first $1.1 million donated toward the construction of a new wing. Hoffman said she hopes the project will be completed within 18 months.

Steve Milek, 43, of Hagerstown, played croquet with his daughter, Jenna, 9, and son, Jacob, 8. Milek said croquet and bocce were an amusing twist on golf and bowling.

“We were here last year,” Milek said. “It’s something different. It’s a free activity, and it gets the kids outdoors.”

Sandy Melton, 44, of Hagerstown, watched her children — Quinn, 10, Zane, 8, Kade, 6, and Shey, 4 — play in the moon bounce. Melton said her husband worked at Brook Lane long ago and she was a social worker, so she was interested in supporting the hospital.

“They are out here to help people in the community,” she said.

Heather Hall, 31, of Hagerstown, cheered as her son, Ezekiel, 3, swung a mallet, at turns hitting and missing the intended wooden ball. Hall, who worked in health care and already was familiar with Brook Lane, said Scoops and Wickets was “a ton of fun.” Her husband, Jonathan Hall, 31, and son, Gideon, 5, also attended.

“I think it’s a wonderful way to get the community involved in such a great organization,” Heather Hall said.

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