The Mayberry Pickleball Tournament will become an annual event, according to organizers.
Jane Lewis said the tournament, hosted at Northern Wellness and Fitness Center and Reeves Community Center on Saturday and Sunday, was hugely successful.
“We were really pleased,” said Lewis. “This year’s participants were all talking about coming back next year. They were impressed.”
The event even drew many spectators, according to Lewis. A total of 76 players travelled from three states to take part in the tournament.
She said at least $2,000 was raised at the event, though the exact figure was not yet available.
Lewis said the money will go toward the operations of the Surry County Health Foundation, a group which provides funding for health department initiatives left unfunded by the department’s budget.
Every year the foundation donates about $15,000 to make an array of programs possible, according to Lewis, a foundation board member. Health department employees write grant proposals, and the foundation decides which programs to fund.
The process takes place in September every year, explained Lewis. However, the foundation also handles emergency requests as they arise.
“We bought a whole lot of baby formula when there were issues processing WIC vouchers,” noted Lewis. “Those babies might have gone hungry.”
This year the foundation funded a flu clinic, immunizations for children without healthcare coverage, a number of three-year birth control implants, mental health counseling and much more, according to Lewis.
She said the money raised at the pickleball tournament, which was held on five courts at Northern Wellness and Reeves, will go toward next year’s goals.
The tournament was a success worth repeating for many years to come, said Lewis. However, many people and organizations made it possible.
She highlighted the work of local pickleball players Jackie Lewis, her husband, and Jack Moore, who organized the tournament, and the generosity of the event’s venues.
“We couldn’t have asked for our hosts to have been anymore accommodating.”
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.