Pickleball enthusiasts gathered at Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, on October 7th for the inaugural Pickles for Pups Pickleball Tournament. Over 100 players supported the Mt. Juliet Animal Control and Shelter, filling all ten pickleball courts in the park and paying a $50 registration fee to help raise well-needed funds for the local animal rescue organization.
Participants shared excitement over the event, including Tina Hutsenpiller, the president of the Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter Volunteer Organization. “It’s really exciting to see all the players here to play pickleball and support our animal shelter,” she conveyed during an event interview.
Stephanie Cox, the supervisor of the Animal Control and Shelter, was also delighted with the event’s success. She reported that about $5,000 was raised from this event, which will go towards the basic and medical needs of the shelter’s 43 kittens and 10 dogs, stating that there had recently been a seasonal “surge” of kittens needing service.
Mt. Juliet City Commissioner Ray Justice expressed gratitude towards the city staff and everyone who supported the shelter, stating, “Great job, as usual, to our city staff. My pup, MJ, thanks everyone also.”
At the event, attendees had the chance to meet and greet dogs like Peaches, a pit bull mix currently available for adoption at Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter, and mingle with other players. Richard De-Brigard, a downtown Nashville resident, said, “This is my first pickleball tourney. It’s great.”
“It’s a great cause to me, to help the animal shelter. Funding across Nashville for shelters is dwindling. I know the Mt. Juliet shelter is hurting for money.” Said Daniel Webb, the tournament’s organizer.
Webb expressed his enthusiasm for the sport’s growing popularity and inclusive nature. “It’s the fastest growing sport in America because it’s all-inclusive. Nine-year-olds can play, and 89-year-olds can too. It’s easier than tennis, harder than table tennis. There are all ranges of skill.”
Overall, the day was a great success for the animal shelter and the sport of pickleball, which is “all the rage,” according to Mt. Juliet Parks and Rec Director Rocky Lee.
The Recent Impact of Pickleball on Community Causes
The recent tournament in Mt. Juliet is not the first supporting causes such as animal welfare. The Humane Society of Elmore County hosted The Paddles for Paws Tournament on October 2nd and raised roughly $2,000.
These organized tournaments and events offer players a chance to showcase their skills and raise funds for charitable organizations that they are passionate about, which is a huge draw. Both players and spectators come together as one at these gatherings, united by their love for the sport and desire to give back to the community.
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