A non-profit organization called Fulton County Senior Pickleball has been created in Fulton County, Ohio, with the aim of establishing a permanent local indoor facility dedicated to pickleball.
Formal Fundraising Activities
Registered as an Ohio non-profit, Senior Pickleball has also obtained non-profit status from the IRS. The Board of Directors for Senior Pickleball has announced its intent to commence formal fundraising activities in order to achieve the overarching goal of sustaining senior pickleball in Fulton County.
President of the Board of Directors, Ed Bracken, told Sandy Rose of The Northwest Signal, “The Fulton County Ohio Senior Pickleball non-profit corporation was started for the purpose of creating and funding an indoor facility that allows the senior citizens of Fulton County, Ohio, to play pickleball and to help maintain their physical, emotional and social well-being.”
Representing A Community
The remaining members of the pickleball board of directors include Deb Buehrer of Fayette as treasurer, Jim Cordes of Pettisville, and Caroline Lammers of Wauseon, serving as secretary.
Bracken emphasized the predicament faced by their community, stating, “We represent a community of senior pickleball players looking for a place to play. Most of us learned to play at the Fulton County Senior Center, but the center canceled all pickleball in July.
“We’ve been told the new senior center, now under construction, also won’t include space for pickleball. That leaves our community of 50-plus senior pickleball players with nowhere to go when the weather forces us inside.”
Substantial Space Required
The required space is substantial, measuring 30 x 60 feet with 18-foot ceilings.
Currently, the members gather to play on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon at the former racquet club on Ottokee Street in Wauseon.
This building, now owned by Triangular Processing, is available to them until renovation plans are finalized. Bracken expressed hope that remodeling would commence in April 2024, allowing them to utilize the outdoor space during the summer months.
Senior Population On The Increase
Bracken acknowledged the financial considerations, noting, “If a person goes three times a week, that’s about $60 per month. For some people, that can be too much.”
This interim arrangement grants them time to secure a permanent location.
He outlined their objective, stating, “Our goal is to find a place we can control and allow the pickleball community to continue to play and to expand. The county commissioners said the senior population in Fulton County will increase by 30% in the next 10 years.
“We Won’t Be Around Forever”
“Some of those new seniors will want to play pickleball against people their own age.
“The board of Senior Pickleball knows we won’t be around forever. Senior Pickleball is structured to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s senior pickleball players.
“The non-profit is set up to be passed on to the next generation of senior players when the original directors leave the scene.”
Bracken encouraged those interested in offering assistance or seeking further information to reach out to Senior Pickleball at [email protected] or by calling or texting them at 567-454-1710.
Fulton County is situated in the U.S. state of Ohio, 30 miles west of Toledo. According to the 2020 census, it had a population of 42,713. The county seat and largest city is Wauseon.
The county was established in 1850 and was formed using land from Henry, Lucas, and Williams counties. It is named in honor of Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat.
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