Players focus on their posture and swing to hit the ball through the wicket.

Inquisitive philanthropists get a chance to check out the elusive Thompson Island Estate of Edward B. Knight later this month.

“It is like a tropical paradise of its own attached to Key West,” said executive director of Womankind Kim Romano. “Participants are dressed in vintage clothing and it looks like a scene out of the Great Gatsby.”

Womankind is holding its largest fundraiser of the year March 29 -30, the annual Lawn Party and Croquet Tournament of Key West. Elimination games are on Saturday, March 29 at 9 a.m. and the championship game and dinner party is on Sunday, March 30 at 5 p.m. The tournament was spawned years ago after a small croquet event at the Harry S. Truman Little White House generated big buzz.

“People kept looking from the street at us in our antique clothes playing croquet in front of the Little White House,” said assistant director Cali Roberts, “Eileen and Justin Kawaler are the main sponsors of the party, bring many of the guests and invite the public to come and join in on the fun and support a great cause.”

Money donated funds health care at Womankind for those who cannot afford it. When the nonprofit started in 2001 it served 300 people, now it serves 3,000 from Marathon to Key West. Recently, it began offering “navigation” services for locals searching for health care policies in the new landscape of the Affordable Health Care Act.

“Men and women are amazed to leave with healthcare coverage for $35 a month. Many of the people that come in have never had healthcare insurance in their lives,” said Roberts.

The organization has been expanding and recently hired a full-time gynecologist and has a 6-month-old “spa” to treat young acne patients for a fraction of what most doctors would charge. Womankind serves women, men and children. Most recently, the group has received a federal grant to teach sex education in Monroe County high schools.

The cost to participate in the Lawn Party and Croquet Tournament of Key West is $400 for croquet teams of two; tickets for the Sunday championship/dinner event are $75 a person, $140 per couple, and a table of ten is $700. For details, call 305-320-0608 or purchase tickets at


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