FRANCONIA — First it was COVID-19, then it was the weather that caused this year's Whack & Roll at the Mennonite Heritage Center to be rescheduled.
“This year, like most organizations, we're off schedule and fitting things in as we can, so this is our first major event since the pandemic,” Sarah Wolfgang Heffner, acting executive director, said as teams of croquet players filled the MHC's yard Aug. 30.
The two-person teams play for prize money for non-profit organizations. The event is also a fundraiser for the Mennonite Heritage Center on Yoder Road.
The number of people in the tournaments was down slightly this year following the rescheduling, Heffner said.
“I think there was one non-profit that didn't feel comfortable sending players this year,” she said.
After the second postponement, moving the tournament play from Saturday, Aug. 29 to Sunday, Aug. 30, a half dozen of the teams that had been scheduled weren't there for the new date, she said.
“All in all, I think we're having a good day and some good croquet playing going on out there,” Heffner said.
Changes in this year's event because of the pandemic included having boxed lunches for the participants instead of the buffet that usually is held, she said.
The tournament, which was originally scheduled to be held in May, includes Open and Novice divisions, she said.
“We found that over the years there are some very competitive teams that are out there playing so the Novice division is a good way for people who aren't quite up to that category to play and have fun,” she said.
Whack & Roll started 12 years ago, she said.
“It was the original brain child of Dan Lapp who was our development director at the time. He's a croquet enthusiast and he just thought this would be a unique fundraiser,” Heffner said.
This year's first place winner in the Open division was Lapp and Donna Floyd, playing as The Chief's Team. The $4,000 prize, sponsored by Bergey's Inc., goes to The City School.
Second place went to the MRC Rovers team of Bryce Mininger and James Braunsberg. The $2,000 prize, sponsored by Detweiler, Hershey & Associates, goes to MCC Material Resource Center.
The Sure Shot Duo of Gary Volpe and Brad Anderson took third place. The $1,000 prize, sponsored by Everence, goes to Joni & Friends.
The prize for fourth through sixth place is $500 each.
The I'm OK, You Roquet team of Roger Kurtz and Jim Musselman, playing for Frederick Living, took fourth place. The Process Trusters team of David Lapp and Tim Fenchel, playing for The City School, got fifth. Rehab Renegades team of David Bergey and Mike Gehman, playing for Grand View Health, were sixth.
The prize for seventh through ninth place is $250 each.
Manna Mallets team of Rob Kerns and Alyssa Kerns, playing for Manna on Main Street, took seventh place. The Fish team of Jay Skyrm and Kirsten Skyrm, playing for Quakertown Christian School, was eighth. The WHackmans team of Doug Hackman and Molly Hackman, playing for Dock Mennonite Academy, was ninth.
In the Novice Division, COBYS Whack 'n Rollers, Suzanna Knarr and Justin Knarr, took first place. The $750 prize, sponsored by Bergey's Inc., goes to COBYS Family Services.
Second place went to the MDS Whackers, James Moyer and Reuben Jones. The $500 prize, sponsored by Detweiler, Hershey & Associates, goes to Mennonite Disaster Service.
Third place went to Center Stage, Marissa Hager and Cassie Hager. The $250 prize, sponsored by Everence, goes to Bally Community Center.
“I think we just feel good that we can actually hold an event and have people here in a safe way on a Sunday afternoon enjoying the end of summer,” Heffner said.
This year's Survivor tournament, in which youth teams compete for prize money to help fund their mission trips, had been rescheduled for Aug. 28, but was again postponed because of that night's rainstorm, Heffner said. It will again be rescheduled, but the new date was not yet set, Heffner said.