May 21 is the Annual Croquet Invitational at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards to Benefit "Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation"

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On May 21 Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation celebrates 21 years of granting magical wishes to kids with life threatening illnesses at Sonoma Cutrer Vineyards "Croquet Invitational" - http://www.makewish.org

Bisques, and Carrots and Tice - oh my! Ready your wickets and get out your glossary of croquet terms. On Saturday, May 21, one of the Wine Country's most-beloved events takes place on the graceful lawns of Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, a world-class site for the popular lawn sport. The Croquet Invitational and Charity Auction will benefit the nonprofit Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation® (http://www.makewish.org). Tickets for the event are $200 per person / $2000 for a table of ten and may be reserved by calling (415) 982-9474.

This year, the expected 1,000 wine and food lovers, croquet enthusiasts and philanthropists will all face the “jaws of the hoop” to watch an exhibition match with local professional croquet players played against a backdrop of attendees enjoying fine food, fun and other festivities. The popular event is one of the largest fundraising events in the region for the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation, this year celebrating 21 years of fulfilling magical wishes for children facing life-threatening illnesses. Helping out as “auction spotters” will be the Windsor High School cheerleaders, and on-hand as special guest will be 8-year old Zachary Mastroyannakis of Petaluma. “Wish Kid” Zachary, who suffers from severe chronic lung disease, recently returned with his family from a Caribbean cruise on Disney's “Big Red Boat” courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (You can learn more about Zachary's wish at http://www.zacharymastro.com )

“What a wonderful way to make wishes come true,” said Patricia Wilson, executive director of the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation. “We look forward to this event every year and working with such wonderful partners and individuals from the wine country that assist us in making the event successful.”

Also taking place is the highly competitive charity auction, during which guests will hoist their paddles to raise money for children with life-threatening illnesses. An eagerly anticipated part of the day, the live auction features the very best of private cellars and premium wineries in California with additional lots including exotic trips and exclusive experiences. A concurrent silent auction provides opportunities to bid on trips to the wine country as well as rare signature items.

About the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation

In 2005, the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation® celebrate 21 years of fulfilling magical wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. The sixth-largest Make-A-Wish chapter nationwide, it has granted more than 3,500 wishes in serving 17 counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Marin, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano and Sonoma. In early 2005, America’s Greatest Brands, Volume 3 features the Make-A-Wish Foundation as one of only three non-profit organizations recognized as among “America’s Strongest and Most Trusted Brands.” The Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and The Metropolitan Museum of Art were selected for inclusion by the publication’s participating for-profit corporations. For more information, please call (800) 464-9474 or visit http://www.makewish.org

Some background on Croquet:

Although croquet is a rather young sport, its ancestry can be traced at least to the 14th century, and there are a couple of stories about how it originated. One is that lawn bowlers developed an indoor form of their sport to be played during the winter, adding hoops and mallets to make the game more challenging on the much smaller playing area. This indoor version of lawn bowling then moved back outdoors and become known in France as paille-maille (“ball-mallet”). During the 1830s, a French doctor developed a new version of the sport as a form of outdoor exercise for his patients. He named it “croquet,” from the French word for a crooked stick, and it was widely played at spas in the South of France. English visitors discovered it there and brought it back to their country. Lawn croquet made something of a comeback during the 1920s, at least among wealthy people playing on large, well-leveled lawns at estates on Long Island and in Hollywood, the two major hot beds. Croquet was frequently mentioned in Broadway and movie gossip columns because of the names involved. Among its well-known players were Harpo Marx, George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart of Broadway fame, Hollywood producers Sam Goldwyn, Howard Hawks, and Darryl Zanuck, and composer Richard Rodgers – all of whom, not so incidentally, are now in the Croquet Hall of Fame.

What:                        

The 2005 Croquet Invitational and Charity Auction Benefiting The Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation®

Where:                        

Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards, Windsor, California

4401 Slusser Road, Windsor

When:                        

Saturday, May 21, 10:30am - 6pm*

  • 10:30am - Arrivals / Silent Auction begins
  • 12noon - Courtside Luncheon served
  • 12:30pm - Exhibition Croquet Game begins
  • 2pm - Live Auction commences
  • 4pm - Tasting of Rare Wines, Dancing on Grand Terrace, “Le Boulevard” opens
  • 6pm - event ends

Website: http://www.makewish.org

Tickets: $200 per person / $2000 for a table of ten

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David Perry