Eight for Eight: Arbor Acres’ Residents Win Big in Croquet Finals at NC Senior Games

95 Year Old Outplays Competition to Take Home Gold  

Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Community in Winston-Salem was well-represented at the North Carolina Senior Games in Raleigh this past weekend: eight residents qualified to play in the state croquet finals, and each one brought home an individual medal in their respective age and gender brackets. The final take: five gold medals, two silver and one bronze.  

The players advanced to the state finals after winning their brackets in the local competition, Piedmont Plus Senior Games and Silver Arts, this past spring. Arbor Acres hosted the local event on its professional-grade croquet course. At State Finals, Arbor Acres’ finalists competed against players from around the state who qualified from the 53 Local Senior Games that took place earlier this year.  

“This is the best showing in croquet Arbor Acres has had at the state level,” says gold-medal winner Chan Chandler. “Croquet is a very popular sport here, and while we take competition seriously, it’s a friendly competition. We support each other and have fun along the way. But I have to say it’s gratifying when our hard work pays off.  

“This year, we’re especially proud of our own Betty Richardson, who took home a gold medal in the 95-99 age group—she turns 96 in less than a week!”    

2017 Croquet Winners

Arbor Acres’ 2017 state seniors’ croquet winners include:


  • Betty Richardson, Gold, 95-99 age group
  • Emily Lambeth, Gold, 80-84 age group
  • Liz Vinson, Bronze, 75-79 age group
  • Winborne Chandler, Gold, 70-74 age group


  • Charles Duckett, Gold, 85-89 age group
  • Hamp Lefler, Silver, 80-84 age group
  • Ron Vinson, Silver, 75-70 age group
  • Chan Chandler, Gold, 70-74 age group  

The Secret Is in the Mallets

Croquet players from around the state claim they know the secret behind Arbor Acres’ consistently good showing at local and regional competitions. In addition to regular practice sessions, some members of the retirement community’s team use wooden mallets handcrafted by two resident artisans, Ron Vinson and John Albright. These master woodworkers make the regulation mallets from workshops set up in their garages on campus.