Two very different but worthwhile fundraising events took place on the East and West coasts recently. Long Island and Dana, Southern California, were the venues for the Turkey Bowl and Christmas Gift Collection, respectively.
There was a pickleballing twist to traditional Thanksgiving sports when Northport Village, Long Island, held its version of the Turkey Bowl.
Northport resident Keith Brady orchestrated this inaugural Northport Turkey Ball, which morphed from a pickleball tournament into a charitable fundraiser for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.
“A Great Success”
“The inaugural Northport Turkey Ball tournament was a great success,” Brady informed Joanne Kountourakis at the Northport Journal. Around two dozen players engaged in the event, held on the home courts of Brady and his friend, fellow Village resident Joe Willen.
Made feasible by the generosity of local and Long Island businesses, along with the financial backing of numerous individuals and enterprises, the event amassed $6,200 for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital’s Support a Family Program within the hematology and oncology department.
“These funds will bring joy to many, allowing us to gift sick children and their siblings something special for the holidays – a small comfort during their challenging times,” expressed Brady.
Overwhelmed By The Kindness
A local business owner, father of three daughters, pickleball enthusiast, and certified instructor, Brady felt overwhelmed by the kindness displayed by various Northport and Long Island businesses, pickleball entities, and individuals who all united to support the cause through monetary contributions and raffle donations.
The event garnered $3,000 in donations on its initial day of fundraising. However, by November 24, the tournament date, that amount had more than doubled. Participants from Northport and Long Island, spanning ages 19 to 66, including father-son duos, graced the courts on the post-Thanksgiving day, showcasing pickleball’s timeless allure and the community’s benevolence.
Expanding For Next Year
Looking forward, the Turkey Ball organizers envision expanding the tournament’s scale, aiming for a roster of 96 players and a fundraising target ranging from $20,000 to $25,000 next year.
Registration details will be accessible through the Fox Den Pickleball website, which will go live in the coming weeks. Brady only recently initiated this venture, offering lessons and matches at his home court.
“This tournament is about more than just sports,” Brady said. “It’s a meaningful opportunity to help needy children, especially during the holiday season.”
Fourth Annual Donation Event for U.S. Marines
The Dana Point Pickleball Group of Dana, Orange County, California, has once again been hard at work in their local community and amassed over 800 Christmas presents for its fourth annual donation drive aiding Marines on Monday, December 4.
Assortment Of Gifts
This year, the group accumulated gifts, handcrafted beanies, and $100 in gift cards for families affiliated with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment from Camp Pendleton.
Via an emailed statement, the group highlighted that the regiment had recently returned from a six-month deployment in the Pacific.
Dana Point locals Gary and Trudy Daverso spearheaded the donation event alongside Joe and Loretta Harris. The Harrises took on the roles of Santa and Mrs. Claus during the occasion.
The donation drive by the pickleball group to support Camp Pendleton Marines resonates particularly deeply with Trudy and Joe. Both have personal ties as their fathers served in the Marines: Trudy’s father, Staff Sergeant Milan Muslin, fought in the Pacific’s Bougainville during World War II.
Joe grew up without his father, who lost his life in action during the Vietnam War. Marine Corps. Capt. William Thomas Harris died during a rescue and recovery mission in 1963.
In a moving gesture, 15 active-duty Marines joined the pickleball players at Del Obispo Park’s courts on Monday to receive the entirety of the donations.
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