Marie Maguire is a big pickleball enthusiast and a three-year veteran. Her enthusiasm reached new heights when she learned about the construction of five cutting-edge outdoor pickleball courts – three of which are indoor – at the Brown Family YMCA in Palm Valley, Florida, an institution with which she had maintained a longstanding membership.
However, unbeknownst to her, these courts would be earmarked in honor of her family and christened as the Maguire Family Pickleball Center, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Newman Family Foundation.
The momentous news was conveyed to Maguire a few days prior to the scheduled ribbon-cutting ceremony at the YMCA in July.
“I was shocked. I started to cry when I found out,” says Maguire, adding how important the “Y” is to her family. “The courts are beautiful and truly wonderful to play on — for everyone.”
The link between the Maguire and Newman clans has deep historical roots. The initial encounter between Chuck Newman Sr. and the late Rich Maguire happened in 1970 when they found themselves stationed together with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in the Arctic Circle.
Newman Sr. told floridanewsonline.com, “Rich was my commanding officer.”
A Deep Bond
A deep bond developed between Rich and Marie Maguire and Chuck and his wife Diane, and, in a testament to their friendship, Rich had the honor of serving as the best man at the Newmans’ wedding, with Marie assuming the role of the maid of honor.
Although the two men’s paths eventually diverged, the familial ties endured.
When Rich contemplated retirement after a commendable 20-year tenure with the United States Coast Guard and sought a place to settle, the Newmans, who had lived in Ponte Vedra Beach since 1985, extended an invitation for the Maguires to join them.
This invitation was warmly accepted in 1988, reuniting the families once again.
Commitment To Community Service
A shared commitment to community service marked their reconnection. Rich and Chuck collaborated on numerous fundraising endeavors for various community initiatives, most notably the establishment of the YMCA at 170 Landrum Lane in Ponte Vedra Beach in 1999.
We’ve featured several articles about pickleball centers in Florida, one of the hotbeds of the sport in the U.S.
Chuck puts down much of the success of these projects to Rich, affectionately referred to as “Mr. Y,” for his unwavering leadership and dedication to putting the community’s needs at the forefront.
Rich assumed roles such as chairman and board member of the then-Winston Family YMCA, now known as the Brown Family YMCA. Also, he served as the president of the Ponte Vedra Rotary Club, among other notable volunteer positions.
Chuck also served as a board chairman at the Y and said, “Everything Rich did, he did well and took it very seriously. He was a great leader.”
Rich was 67 when he died suddenly on December 25, 2013, leaving the two families bereft.
Angelique Newman, a valued member of the Newman Family Foundation and daughter-in-law to Chuck and Diane, has made significant contributions to the Brown Family YMCA over the years. Her involvement has extended to serving as a board member, chairman, and crucial capital campaign committee member.
It was Angelique who recognized that the construction of the pickleball courts presented a splendid opportunity to pay tribute to the Maguire family while also engendering a spirit of communal unity.
Click here to more of our stories about new pickleball courts sprouting up around the nation.
Her proposal to finance the pickleball courts received unanimous approval from the foundation, although the specific donation amount from the Newman Family Foundation remains confidential.
Angelique emphasized that the decision to dedicate the pickleball courts was fitting, given Marie’s deep affection for the sport and the philanthropic spirit shared by Marie, Rich, and their two adult sons. One serves as a police officer, while the other is an attorney previously working as a public defender.
Matthew Maguire expressed his sentiments, viewing the dedication of the pickleball courts in his father’s name as a testament to the genuine love and respect that binds both families together.
“My dad was an amazing person, and my family is honored and grateful for this incredible gift,” he said.
Marie added that the Newman Family Foundation reflects the same message that Rich embraced. “He gave us all the idea of volunteerism and the importance of giving to others,” she said.
The Newmans, who started the foundation in 1999, are now working to pass that sentiment on to the next generation. The foundation includes Chuck and Diane’s adult children, spouses, and, upon reaching 18 years of age, the grandchildren.
Brown Family YMCA Executive Director Charlie Chacos said he is incredibly grateful to both families for their continued support and dedication over the years.
“Both of these families have gone all in with us over the years. Not only for the Y but for the entire community,” he said. “We are so lucky to have their support.”
Email Charlie Chacos at [email protected] for more information about joining the Y Pickleball Club or contributing to the capital campaign.
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