Main Event: Croquet players have a ball raising money for OMC

"Going great. We've been doing this for several years. But we never get better," jokes Dacia Bestor, of Harmony, who is pictured with her husband, Ty Bestor. The team called themselves Lemon Sour with a Twist.

Novice and experienced players alike gathered July 19 for the sixth annual Croquet Field Day,hosted by Olmsted Medical Center Regional Foundation.More than 120 people attended the event, held at Rochester Golf and Country Club, and raised nearly $70,000 to support women's health services at OMC.

Preceding the afternoon of croquet, attendees gathered in the clubhouse for brunch and a welcome address by Stacy Vanden Heuvel, vice president of marketing and philanthropy.

"OMC has a long history of providing exceptional care for women and their families," she said. "The Women's Health Pavilion — with its birth center, imaging, primary and specialty care — serves women through all of life's stages."

Title sponsors of the event were Dr. Kimberlyand Preston McKeonand Dr. Kathrynand Phil Lombardo.

"This event is very important to our organization, as it raises funds for women's health services," said OMC President Dr. Kathryn Lombardo. "It's also a chance to see the sponsors, patients, employees and their families, and people in the community."


Minneapolis Croquet Club members Mike Weimerskirchand Rick Sheelyprovided players with a demonstration and announcement of rules before competition began.

"Croquet is a nice blend of physical activity with serious strategic challenge," Weimerskirch said. "It can be complex, but it's an easy game to learn."

Many of those attending Croquet Field Day dressed in costume. Prizes were awarded in three categories: best hat, best croquet attire, and best themed team.

Taking home the honors for best croquet attire were Julie Domailleand Jack Gross.The couple, who were celebrating their seventh wedding anniversary, was team "Sunflower Power," and dressed in bright yellow coordinating ensembles.

"We come every year," Domaille said. "We like the costumes and supporting the cause."

"We like the competition," Gross added. "We're in it to win it."

Dressed in '70s hippie fashion, E.B. Rayand Kari Clarkwere team "Grooving for OMC." Ray is in business services and Clark is in obstetrics and gynecology at OMC.

"We're amateurs at the game of croquet," Ray said. "We'd like to win best costume; we won last year." The duo dressed as construction workers previously, a nod to the work being completed on the Women's Health Pavilion.


Dressed as the croquet-playing characters from "Alice in Wonderland" — Tweedledee and Tweedledum — were Deb Weinrichand Kristy Lund, both nurses in the birth center at OMC. They won for best themed team. Weinrich made the costumes for the two using hula hoops under yellow T-shirts.

"It's great to get out there and play and support women's health," Lund said. "We're amateurs; we don't play to win."

Best hat award winner was Dacia Bestorfrom Harmony. Dacia — who attended with husband Ty— said field day is a great couples' event, and they enjoy dressing in costume each year. Her prize-winning hat was white and wide-brimmed, embellished with assorted limes, lemons and greenery.

"She made it after a stop at the craft store last night," Ty said.

Attendees Jamesand Chereen Hoffmanand their son and his wife, Nathanand Melanie Hoffman,were enjoying a little friendly competition.

"This is a great bonding opportunity over fierce competition," Nathan said jokingly.

The younger Hoffmans traveled from the Twin Cities area to attend.

Attending for the second time was Tim Nelaand his colleague Mike Iyobhebhe. They were the Clements Squad.


"This is a lot of fun," Nela said. "The game is about patience, strategy, defense. There's a lot of thinking going on. Anybody can excel at it."

"I'm going to see what this is all about, I've never played before," Iyobhebhe said.

"We plan to be here next year," Nela added.

For more information on the services of Olmsted Medical Center, including a link to the Women's Health Pavilion, visit .

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