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Sanibel Community Association hosts 16th annual Holiday Indoor Mini-Golf event

By Staff | Dec 22, 2010

Sanibel Community Association staff and officers — Salli Kirkland, Jill Kobe, Bill Schecker and Jeff Oths — limber up for the SCA's annual Holiday Mini-Golf fundraiser.

The Christmas season will soon come to a close, and as revelers relax — and recover — amidst a sea of crumpled wrapping paper, coils of electric lights and piles upon piles of gifts and greeting cards, one thought might come to mind — now what do we do?

To help ease the post-holiday come-down, the Sanibel Community Association invites residents and visitors to try their hand at the Community House’s 16th annual Holiday Indoor Mini-Golf course and fundraiser.

The idea for an annual fundraiser arose almost 20 years ago when CEO and President of ‘Tween Waters Inn, Tony Lapi, sat on the board of directors for the Sanibel Community Association.

“We were looking for ways to make some revenue for the Community Association without interfering or competing with local businesses,” Lapi said. “We came up with some ideas, sketched them out and finally we said, why not mini-golf?”

The idea stuck and, two decades later, it’s one of the Community Association’s most popular events.

Participants try their putt-putt luck at last year’s Holiday Mini-Golf event at the Sanibel Community House.

“It benefits all of the community here — kids are out of school, it’s the peak of our Christmas tourism and, because the course is inside, in the case of inclement weather, they can play rain or shine, day or night,” Lapi said. “This is something for the whole family to do together.”

And while community support and participation in the Holiday Indoor Mini-Golf event are key, Lapi said it’s the event sponsors that make it happen every year.

“The sponsors pay $100 — and we usually have 100 sponsors every year — and they come in and decorate a hole and they get 25 free passes to give out to guests. It’s a win/win for everybody involved and I’d like to thank all the businesses that have supported us year after year,” Lapi said.

So, will Lapi be participating in the event as well as organizing it this year?

“I do play golf, but I’m a kid at heart — the part I really enjoy is building the course and putting it together every year. We have water holes, sand holes, windmill holes — it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

The Community Associations’ Holiday Mini-Golf course will host open play on Dec. 26, 27, 28 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Wednesday, Dec. 29 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 and 3 to 5:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded daily for different divisions throughout the open play.

The cost for open play is $3 for adults and $2 for kids under 12.

“Try to play mini-golf off-island for prices that low!” Lapi said.

This year, the annual Holiday Mini-Golf event will continue a new tradition that started last year.

“It’s always been a great fundraiser, but we wanted to bring some gamesmanship and competitive spirit to the islands — that’s why we’re having tournaments,” Lapi said.

The Best Ball tournament, Lapi said, takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 29.

There will be two tee times — 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. — and the three teams with the best overall score will win cash prizes: $500 for first place; $300 for second place and $200 for third place .

Teams can sign up and prepay the $50 entry fee or pay $60 at the door on the day of the tournament.

“The tournament will be a great opportunity for father and son teams or business partners to have a wonderful time and support a great cause.,” Lapi said. “All the money raised from the Holiday Mini-Golf event will go to help preserve the building.

“This is something I do as a volunteer because I’ve always had a soft spot for the Community Association — it’s a great gathering place for everyone on the islands.

The Sanibel Community House is located at 2173 Periwinkle Way. For more information, call 472-2155 or go to www.SanibelCommunityHouse.net.