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HomeBusiness & CommunityThe Salvation Army's Pickleball for School Supplies

The Salvation Army’s Pickleball for School Supplies

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What exactly is pickleball? It’s a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, ping-pong and a whole lot of fun. And for the Salvation Army of Hernando County, this novel sport is a vital fund-raising tool that will place school supplies in the hands of needy children.

On August 12, with games starting from 8:30 am and running until 4 pm, Hernando and Pasco residents will be encouraged to ‘pickle for good.’

The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the best at 7,600 centers of operation nationwide. For more information, visit SalvationArmyFlorida.org. The gifts of the community have allowed the Salvation Army of Hernando County to serve 14,000 neighbors each year.

The Hernando and Pasco divisions of the Salvation Army are teaming up to host a Back-to-School Pickleball Tournament Saturday, August 12th. This Tournament will be played indoors at 7745 Ridge Rd, Port Richey, at a cost of $15 per person per event, with proceeds going to purchase needed school supplies for the families they serve on a daily basis at their individual agencies. Free water will be supplied to event competitors.

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“This is an annual event that we’ve had for the past three years, and that last year enabled us to help about 100 people in Hernando County,” said Captain Joshua Davis, officer and administrator of the Salvation Army in Hernando County. “These are families served through our food pantry.”

Many of these families, Davis reveals, come complete with children who need a little extra help in making a successful start to the 2023-2024 school year. “Each student is given a list of school supplies they need to bring for the year,” he said. “For some of these families, they might face a choice of paying for these supplies or paying a utility bill.”

Thanks to fund-raisers such as the Pickleball Tournament, these families will have one less thing to worry about as they send their kids to school in the fall. “Our families are so grateful for the assistance,” said Davis, “As we provide them with essential needs. We shop for the supplies ourselves, the paper, pencils, pens, everything on the list.”

And as Pickleball competitors help these kids and families, they’ll participate in a fun, high-spirited game played on a badminton-sized court via a slightly modified tennis net. Participants play with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes in this sport, which can be enjoyed by folks of all ages and skill levels.

“I define pickleball as what happens when you play ping pong,” says Davis, “while standing on the table.”

The Back to School Pickleball Tournament will feature brackets for intermediate and advanced players to participate in, along with divisions for men’s and mixed groups. This is a round-robin event, which means that each participant will be guaranteed at least five games.

Davis thanks the sponsors of this event, the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers and United Health. For any questions related to or to signing up for the tournament, call 352-796-1186 or email [email protected]. Donors also can give online at Hernando.salvationarmyflordia.org. The Salvation Army is a 501c(3) organization, meaning donations are tax-deductible.

“I know there are many demands on our limited resources,” he said, “but I hope people will see this as an important investment in the communities which the Salvation Army serves.”

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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