Dressed in a blue and white pinstriped shirt and tan dress pants, which were paired with a matching brown belt and shoes, Joe Hackett had the look of a banker.
And, normally, he is a banker, serving as vice president and senior private banking advisor for Peoples Bank.
But on a recent Wednesday evening, he traded his office for the front lawn of the bank's corporate headquarters along Leader Heights Road.
There, he swung a mallet like a pendulum, ushering croquet balls through a nine-wicket course, as he helped nonprofit leaders learn how to play the game in preparation for the first-ever County Cup.
Nine York County rotary clubs, along with volunteers from participating nonprofits, are hosting the County
More than 90 organizations are scheduled to compete in the event, which will raise more than $52,000 for local charities.
The incentive: Three championship teams and six semifinalists will win cash prizes, ranging from $15,000 to $1,000.
The desire for those much-needed dollars is why many nonprofit leaders showed up on a Codorus Valley Corporate Center lawn.
"State funding has been cut so much. Winning this money would help us offset some of that loss," said Suzanne Geaney, who, along with her husband John Nickey, is playing for the Hanover Area Council of Churches.
Her organization helps the homeless and people who need transitional housing. It represents more than 20 churches and feeds the hungry every day, she said.
The Veterans Memorial Gold Star Healing and Peace Garden also needs money.
"We're still trying to pay off the garden," said Cindy Hochhalter, secretary and treasurer of the garden.
She took swings last week, inching closer to both the next wicket and prize money.
And Colleen Gemmill, a wish granter with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, also showed up to help raise money for her organization's cause.
"It would be a real boost to our privately-funded foundation. On average, each wish costs $3,900. Winning the money would definitely help us get some wishes granted," she said.
How it started: The stories of those organizations, along with many others, inspired the event, according to Kacey French, chairwoman of the County Cup.
"This is a real chance for them to fundraise and get back some of the money they've lost," she said.
In addition to prize money, nonprofits will get to sell $10 tickets to the event and keep the proceeds, and they will also be able to set up booths outside on the Brooks Robinson Plaza, she said.
The Rotaries will not make any money, as the event is funded through a diamond grant provided by the York County Industrial Development Authority, which owns the stadium.
"All money generated is going to the charities. It's all about helping our local nonprofits, and the County Cup is a fun way to do that," Hackett said.
Warm up your mallets: The County Cup, a croquet tournament fundraiser benefitting 90 local charities, is set for Saturday, Sept. 22, at Sovereign Bank Stadium in York City. For information about rules and registration, visit www.thecountycup.org.
---First Friday, downtown York; July 6 at 4:30 p.m.
The County Cup committee will set up AstroTurf and a croquet court in the parking lot of The White Rose Bar & Grill, demonstrate how to play and promote the fundraiser.
Contact Genevieve Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
---Croquet Party with Family-Child Resources Inc. and Cooper Tools; 3990 E. Market St.; Tuesday, July 10, time to be determined
The County Cup committee will set up two to four croquet courts in the front yard of downtown businesses to demonstrate the sport and begin selecting teams.
Contact Elizabeth Wolf at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
---Croquet 101, 105 Leader Heights Road; Wednesday, July 11 at 6 p.m.
The County Cup committee will set up two croquet courts and teach guests how to play the game. For details, contact Kacey French at email@example.com.
-- Candy Woodall can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.