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Wine & Wickets

Article Published: Jul. 28, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

The High Country Women's Fund invites the public to its inaugural Croquet tournament at the Eseeola Lodge Croquet Court on Sunday, Aug. 21. Registration begins at 1 p.m., and play starts at 2 p.m.

Members of the High Country Women's fund are organizing the event to raise funds and awareness of their mission: To inspire, educate and empower women toward self-sufficiency.

"Croquet is a traditional sport and has been very popular in Avery County for more than a century," said Tricia Wilson, event chairwoman. "Avery County is home to more croquet courts per capita than about anywhere in the United States."

Wilson said novices and expert players alike are invited to join the event.

In addition to the double-elimination tournament, the croquet event will feature a contest for best period attire, a poolside dinner and musical entertainment. Ticket prices are being finalized, and those who prefer to watch the play and spend a pleasant summer afternoon with a special dinner to follow may do so for a contribution.

"This is a way for the High Country Women's Fund to be active and engaged in Avery County," said Pinky Hayden, chairwoman of the High Country Women's Fund.

Hayden said about half of the funds are being directed to assist motivated women in Avery County this year. Many of the women, who yearn for educational and employment opportunities, are raising their families alone.

"We have many dedicated women in Avery County who are determined to make the lives of women and their children better," Hayden said.

Created in May 2006, the High Country Women's Fund is an initiative of the High Country United Way. The fund aims to create positive change for women and their families in Avery and Watauga counties, endeavoring to inspire, educate and empower women toward self-sufficiency. Now in its fifth year, HCWF has distributed more than $256,000 to local agencies serving women in the area.

For more information about Wine and Wickets or about the High Country Women's Fund, call (828) 264-4007 or email (

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