How this all started. . .
In the silence and confusion of dementia, on a summer holiday in 2008, James Creasey discovered new connections with his father. As they played croquet together, they both smiled.
Golf had gone. . . too big and too precise, ping pong. . . too fast, scrabble, chess, crosswords. . . all too complicated. Maxwell's smile convinced James and his brother Andrew, that they had found a game the whole family could enjoy together. Now Maxwell's offspring and grandchildren had an activity to enjoy with their ‘Poppa’. And today, four generations of the Creasey family still enjoy playing croquet together.
James wanted to share this experience with other families impacted by dementia and reduce the isolation of seniors who do not have family close-by to play with them. So James and Andrew began to train and equip high-school and college students to play croquet at their schools as an outing, every two weeks, for the residents of a local senior community.
In 2012, South High School in Denver, Colorado was the first school in the program with the help of one of its own students, Sydney Oswald. s.p.h!TM has now won awards in the public and private school systems in the UK as 'Best of' and 'Most Innovative' community service program.
About 40 schools and colleges have participated since the inception of s.p.h!TM involving more than 400 students and over 400 senior residents. The uniform response from schools, colleges and senior communities has been “Wow that was fun! When can we do it again?” So we are now expanding this twice monthly, inter-generational croquet program in the US and the UK.
In 2011, Governor John Hickenlooper proclaimed Sept 21, to be Jiminy Wicket Day in Colorado!
Jiminy Wicket has played with more than 10,000 participants from 2 to 101 years old and from more than 107 countries on three continents and at events in Denver, Boston, London, Brisbane and beyond. On World Alzheimer’s Day, 2013 we hosted the first Jiminy Wicket® World Cup at the Rockefeller Center in New York City. We have demonstrated the robust, simple magic of this work to thousands of people from more than 70 different countries at the Alzheimer’s Disease International conferences in Toronto, London and Budapest.
With the generous help of dedicated volunteers and sponsors we will expand our Through Hoops to Hope program to 100 schools in the US and 50 schools in the UK creating connection, laughter and smiles across the generations.
We measure the effectiveness of our s.p.h!TM program with one metric - smiles per hour! 10 students and 10 seniors generate about 1,000 smiles per hour!
Want to get involved? Contact us!