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Charles Philip Lazarus

Charles Lazarus

On every count, Charles meets the numerous qualifications to be a Hall of Fame member. He has had an extensive community and worldwide service in the sport that reflects the importance of etiquette as a lifestyle, which also permeates the croquet court, our play and our behavioral presence.

Charles Lazarus served our country in World War II in the OSS, developed the famous Toys"R"Us company, was an early member of the Young Presidents Organization and served on numerous corporate boards such as Walmart, ADP, Loral and others. He raised millions of dollars for children around the world, instituted employee assistance programs, and guided many children’s charities. Charles Lazarus is not an absentee philanthropist, nor an absentee croquet promoter. He has been a committed member of USCA for over 30 years, and croquet has benefitted greatly from his business acumen.

Shortly after Charles began playing croquet, he wanted to spread the joy of his new found sport, so he installed a croquet court at his home in Quogue, NY. This personal court was not merely for his enjoyment, but for the playing improvement of others. The likes of Hall of Fame members Don Degnan, Bob Clayton, Ned Prentis, Al Heath and others all enjoyed, learned and promoted croquet there and at their local croquet clubs.

Over the years, Charles himself became a champion croquet player. In 1991 he was a First Flight Singles winner at the Meadow Club Invitational. In 1993 Charles won the A Flight Doubles at the Quantuck Bay Croquet Club (QBCG). He followed those victories with a QBCG win as the A Flight Singles winner, and took First Flight third place in the USCA Mid-Atlantic Regionals. In 1995 he expanded his croquet prowess by winning a First Flight Doubles championship and taking a singles third place at the Westhampton Mallet Club (WMC) in 1995. In 1997, he won a first flight doubles championship, a singles first flight championship, and a third place doubles championship. In 2001 and 2002 Charles won consecutive singles club championships at the Westhampton Mallet Club.

Charles Lazarus supported and promoted the Westhampton Mallet Club by giving his time, talent, wise counsel and financial support. He also served as a WMC Board member for many years and its treasurer for seven years. Charles frequently opened his home for traveling tournament contestants, fed them, and hosted numerous parties and functions that many of us take for granted during tournaments. Charles also was a founding member, supporter, and sustainer on many levels of the Quantuck Bay Croquet Club in Quogue. Charles supported regional and national events that strongly benefited the USCA, CFA and the National Croquet Center (NCC), enriching newcomers and advanced players.

When croquet has been in financial straits, Charles has more than matched his emotional efforts of time and talent. Learning of the building of the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, he immediately joined the founding supporters, by counseling, contributing his business expertise and making considerable donations. This emotional, spiritual, and substantial financial support to our unique National Croquet Center continues today. Many of his financial contributions include the hosting of large, private croquet dinners, parties, and functions at NCC in a deliberate effort to yield new members and develop awareness of croquet and its pleasures. His guests are always introduced to playing croquet, the beauty of the clubhouse and the benefits of membership.

Each year, the annual Hall of Fame Induction Gala is substantially underwritten and attended by Charles and his wife, Joan. Charles is a true ambassador of croquet, and one who has demonstrated the highest regard for the spirit and etiquette of the game, resulting in the greater enjoyment of all.

Charles Philip Lazarus was inducted into the USCA Hall of Fame in 2013.

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