The Marinette Menominee Pickleball Association of Marinette, Wisconsin, in collaboration with the M&M Area Community Foundation, is presently securing funds to refurbish outdoor courts and revitalize the Higley Field area in Marinette.
Repair And Resurfacing
The objective is to raise $80,000 for the repair of existing asphalt courts, along with the resurfacing of the entire court area at Higley Field. Additionally, the project will include the installation of pergolas, windscreens, and gondola umbrellas.
He was also quick to express his gratitude for the Community Foundation’s support, acknowledging their expertise in handling donations.
The fundraising campaign has gained momentum in recent weeks. The entire court area will bear the name of OSMS of Marinette (Orthopedic & Sports Medicine), which has committed $20,000 for naming rights.
Furthermore, four dedicated courts, each costing $5,000 for naming rights, have attracted sponsorship from entities like Rick Thill State Farm Insurance, Hometown Family Restaurant, and Assist 2 Sell Buyers & Sellers Realty.
The local pickleball community has also made a substantial pledge of $10,000, sourced from tournaments, concession stands, and clinics.
Individual members, including Brian and his wife Kim, have also made donations.
“We started out with about $40,000 pre-commitment to this project, so yes, we are off to a fast start. Our goal is to have this money in by the end of the year so the city can get this going in the spring,” Swenson said
No Contribution Too Small
Swenson was delighted with the positive response, highlighting the example of a recent member’s generous donation in particular: “We knew we had quite a bit pre-sold, but I’m very happy with the feedback and personal notes.
“People we know locally saying, ‘I just got your flyer, and I’m putting a check in the mail.’ We don’t know how much this money is going to be, but I never would have guessed we would get $2,500 from a lady we had in Learn and Play six months ago. You never know until you ask.”
He also emphasized that no contribution is considered too small.
Donations for the Court Renovation Fund can be sent to the Community Foundation, 1110 10th Ave., Suite L-1, Menominee, MI 49858, or made online.
Individuals can contact Swenson directly or visit the pickleball association’s Facebook page for further information.
The dedicated courts hold particular significance for the association. Swenson affirmed, “We were adamant that we wanted dedicated courts. Temporary courts won’t grow the sport or be community-friendly.”
Membership for the M&M Pickleball Association, which costs $25, grants access to a locker containing essential equipment at the Community REC Center and the YMCA.
This membership also provides opportunities for indoor play and participation in skills and drills clinics.
The association, boasting approximately 100 paid members, draws participants from the local area and beyond. Marinette’s exceptional facilities attract players from the Upper Peninsula and northeast Wisconsin during the winter months.
“We have about 300 people who use our (Team Reach) scheduling app to play at the REC and the YMCA,” he said.
Unique Facility Set-UP
Swenson noted the unique facility setup, with Marinette and Menominee possessing an indoor facility but lacking outdoor courts.
“We are odd because we have a beautiful indoor facility” and no outdoor courts. Usually, it’s the other way around. Like Marquette.”
They have a pretty strong outside program, but in the winter, they have nothing. They have nowhere to play. We’re the exact opposite. The U.P. has nothing. Green Bay has a little.”
Benefitting The Whole Community
While the fundraising focuses on dedicated pickleball courts, the program aims to benefit the entire community. As Swenson emphasizes: “This is basically a community project that the pickleball group is heading up.”
He also mentioned the city-owned courts would be free to use.
Swenson emphasized the broader community impact of the initiative, stating, “It’s a total community project… We’re not going to make a nickel off of them.”
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