Annual Mini Golf course to offer fun for whole family
The Community House on Sanibel is ready to host one of its fun-for-all-ages traditions.
Open to residents and visitors, the Annual Mini Golf course will take place on Dec. 26 from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Dec. 27-28 from 9 a.m. to 7 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 just $3 per player.
Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall explained that it has been held for over 20 years.
“It was a fun way for businesses to get involved with The Community House,” she said. “It was a fun way to get them out and talking with each other.”
Set up in the Great Hall, it has become a tradition for young and old.
“We have a lot of intergenerational families that come and have been coming for many many years,” Riska-Hall said. “They’ll have their great-grandkids, their grandkids and their kids still playing.”
In addition, it takes the whole island to make it work. The Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva and Sanibel Captiva Lions Club take turns volunteering to help out at the event.
“We also have volunteers from the SCA (Sanibel Community Association) that help,” she said.
New this year, the event will consist of a “ParTee” kickoff on the first day. From 5 to 7 p.m., attendees can pay three additional dollars – $6 in total – to enjoy a meal and play the holes on the course.
“It’s just an opportunity for more people to get together,” Riska-Hall said.
Resident Chef Jarred Harris will whip up a kid-friendly menu.
“We’ll also have some other stuff out,” she said, citing cornhole as one of the activities.
Beer and wine will be available for purchase.
Typically, an estimated 500 to 600 people play the course over the stretch of days.
“We’re hoping that the kickoff helps get more people out,” Riska-Hall said. “We’re trying to get more not only locals, but businesses – everybody together for one night.”
The idea for the event stemmed from Tony Lapi when he was a board member for the SCA, and he designed the original, full 18-hole course. She explained that Lapi was tasked with finding a way for businesses to support the facility at the affordable level, while coming up with something fun to do.
After the facility underwent renovations a few years ago, the staff realized that the original course could not be set up in the same way and had to be altered. Billy and Salli Kirkland took up the task of developing a more storable design, with the aid of employees Ryan Markosky and Kyle Galloway.
Described as similar to putting holes, the nine-hole course features “island influences.”
“One of the holes is a trip over the (Sanibel) Causeway,” Riska-Hall said. “There’s one that has a bike spoke and gears that you have to go through. Because we’re a natural island with the bike paths.”
Zoomers has provided prizes for the players.
“Everybody who comes in gets the Zoomers thing,” she said, noting that it is free admission and a round of mini-golf for four at the indoor-outdoor family attraction located in Fort Myers.
In addition, Sunny Island Adventures has provided daily prizes.
Players can turn in their score card to be eligible to win from a handful of age categories. Riska-Hall explained that some of the prizes include a half-day morning boat rental and parasailing for two.
“They’re not mini-prizes,” she said.
There will be popcorn and drinks available, along with a cash bar serving wine and beer.
The community is encouraged to stop in and play a round.
“It’s a great time to spend time with your family and friends doing something different,” Riska-Hall said. “And it also benefits the non-profit charity of the islands.”
This year’s sponsors include Sunny Island Adventures, Sandy and Roger Grogman, Jason Maughan Law Group, Jerry’s Food, Billy’s Bike Shop and Bailey’s General Store, along with many others.
For more information, visit www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net or call 239-472-2155.
The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way.