MONROE, Maine — Dozens of kids and parents whacked croquet balls, swatted rackets at badminton birdies and threw the bocce ball during an old-fashioned English sports day Sunday afternoon. The event benefited a 16-year-old girl who will take a school trip to Ecuador in September.
Hila Shooter needs $16,500 for her four-month trip during which she will volunteer on farms and explore the country’s volcanoes, highlands and jungle.
On Sunday, Shooter was in the middle of a bright green field of ankle-high grass under a sunny blue sky in Monroe.
“It was a mom-and-me idea,” she said of the games. “She told me about English sports days she used to have as a kid in Britain.”
“We have a lot of money to raise in Waldo County. Everyone is doing that. So I thought this was a good way to fundraise and share a fun bit of culture,” said Shooter’s mom, Flic Shooter, who is from England.
The games were the latest in a string of moneymaking tasks the teen has taken on. She has trained dogs, taught older people in the community how to use their computers, shoveled snowy driveways and done myriad other odd jobs.
“She’s doing lots of things she never thought she’d be doing,” said Flic Shooter. “Even if she didn’t go, she’s learned so much already just fundraising.”
Hila Shooter will head to South America with 11 other high school students from the Northeast.
The fundraising games took place in the Shooters’ field tucked away down a dirt road in Waldo County.
Family friend Fran Clemetson, who came to support the girl’s endeavor, took a whack at a croquet ball.
“I was curious what British sports day would be like,” she said. “I think it’s great to send a high school student to another culture. It’s important to have our youth exposed to other cultures in a deep way. She’ll have a more worldly view of her education.”
The home-schooled teen will continue to raise funds through August with bottle drives, lemonade stands and other events.
“We’re not letting the fact that we don’t have a lot of money keep us from our dreams. It takes a village,” said Flic Shooter.
For more information call 525-3008.