The sound of mallets hitting wooden balls broke the tranquility that generally pervades the beautiful John’s Island West Course, when supporters of the Education Foundation of Indian River County did their best to score at the nonprofit’s annual Wine & Wickets fundraiser.
Croquet newbies received a crash course before heading out onto the croquet court for a rousing game of what, to the untrained observer, might appear to be a random succession of ball-whacking shenanigans. In actuality, it is a game played with strategy and skill, appropriately referred to as chess on grass.
Each tap of the ball and hit through the players’ hoop could also be seen as a metaphor for the hoops the Education Foundation goes through to ensure that all local children achieve academic success. The foundation assists all students from pre-K through high school – public, private and home schooled – to develop the skills needed to meet the challenges of higher education or the pursuit of vocational interests.
“I can’t tell you how it makes my heart feel to see my croquet players out here supporting an endeavor and passion of mine,” said Cathy Filusch, EF board president. “There is so much need. Education and our society need to move forward in the best way it can. That’s why educating our youth means educating them not only academically but socially-emotionally; as well as making sure they have shoes on their feet, good teeth and good eyes.”
As Cynthia Falardeau, executive director, noted, without the support of the community, they wouldn’t be able to “open doors for student success here in Indian River.”
Founded in 1991 the Education Foundation funds school programs and services such as providing High Impact Innovation Grants to pilot innovative student advancement concepts, hosting the Regional Science and Engineering Fair for grades K-12, supporting the STEP into Kindergarten six-week program to bridge the transition from voluntary pre-kindergarten to kindergarten, and administering the Sneaker Exchange, Tools to Learn School Supply Project, and Vision for Reading programs.
For more information, visit edfoundationirc.org.