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Annual Mini Golf course offers fun for whole family

By Staff | Dec 26, 2018

The Community House on Sanibel is ready to host one of its fun-for-all-ages traditions.

Open to island residents and visitors, the 19th Annual Mini Golf course will be held today, Dec. 26, through Dec. 29 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Serving as a fundraiser for the facility, participants can enjoy two passes on a nine-hole indoor course – the equivalent of playing 18 holes – for $3 per player.

“It’s been almost 20 years,” Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall said of the event.

Set up in the Great Hall, it has become a tradition for young and old.

“It’s one of the two major intergenerational events that we put on,” she said.

“We have families that have been coming in and playing mini golf every year,” Riska-Hall added, noting that as the families grow so do the number of participants. “They come in and add more family members on who play.”

While hosted at The Community House to benefit the facility, it takes the whole island to make it all work. The Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions clubs take turns volunteering each day to help at the event.

She noted that the proceeds this year will cover the difference in insurance increases.

“Our goal is $9,000 this year,” Riska-Hall said.

She estimated that 500 to 600 play over the course of the four days.

“We are going to have some overall prizes,” she said.

Players can turn in their score card at the end to be eligible. Riska-Hall explained that they used to award daily prizes but it was difficult, so they will give out an overall adult and youth prize this year.

The idea behind the event stemmed from Tony Lapi when he was a board member for the Sanibel Community Association. She explained that he was tasked with finding a way for businesses to support the facility at the affordable level, while coming up with something fun to do during the holidays.

“It was designed by Ryan Markosky and Kyle Galloway,” Riska-Hall said of the course.

Originally a full 18-hole course, it had to be adapted a few years ago after The Community House underwent renovations and staff realized that the course could not be set up the same as before. Billy and Salli Kirkland took up the task of developing a more storable method to continue the tradition.

“It takes about 10 hours of man-time to put it together,” she said.

Marking its second year, the nine-hole course is described as similar to putting holes.

Riska-Hall noted that there are “island influences.”

“For one, you actually hit the ball over the top of the Causeway,” she said.

There will be popcorn, as well as water and soda available.

“We have light refreshments,” Riska-Hall said.

She encouraged people to stop in and play a round.

“Come out and have a fun time with your family,” Riska-Hall said, adding that supporting The Community House helps support island non-profits and others who need affordable space.

This year’s hole sponsors are Jason Maughan Law Group, Billy’s Rentals, Bailey’s General Store, Mike Kelly, John B, Jerry’s Enterprises, Tom and Judie Sharbauh, Doc Ford’s and Bank of the Islands.

Some additional sponsors include Thomas Louwers, Pfeifer Realty, Bill Schecker, Carlos Menendez, Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market, Captiva Cruises, Dorado Property Management, Periwinkle Place, Cathie Lewis, Steve and Mandy Greenstein, Jensen’s Twin Palm Marina and Jensen’s on The Gulf.

For more information, visit www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net or call 239-472-2155.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way.