Pickleball Central All Heart Award - Connestee Falls Mountain Picklers

by elizaled on Mar 16, 2016

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We all love a great story about how pickleball clubs help out the community. Today, we are awarding the Connestee Falls Mountain Picklers the PickleballCentral All Heart Award. Deb Richter provides the background to their philanthropic efforts. Enjoy!

Mountain Picklers courts

Connestee Falls, an incredible community nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina, is surrounded by the natural beauty of national, state and county parks, over 250 waterfalls, the Blue Ridge Parkway, mountain biking, oh, and did I mention PICKLEBALL! Our community converted an orphan tennis court into 4 dedicated pickleball courts and we have a thriving pickleball community, totally supported by our Property Owners Association! As they say, “If you build it, they will come.”

Connestee Falls Mountain Picklers Tournament Participants - Photo Courtesy of The Transylvania Times, Dec. 24, 2015, Vol.129, No.103

Connestee Falls was started in 1970, and for the past 27 years, we have given back to our county by sponsoring the Connestee Falls Scholarship Program. This program started as a golf Pro-Am and the monies raised were given to the local high schools and colleges for scholarships. When pickleball came on the scene, as our ambassador, I wanted to grow the level of play in the area and tap into the generosity of our residents. In 2011, we ran our first Scholarship Fund Tournament and raised about $3500. Since then, we have had a tournament every year, and have raised over $30,000 for the youth of our county. That, combined with the other efforts in our community, has given 27 people a chance to go to college this year alone, We raised over $75,000 as a community this year and more than $650,000 over the past 27 years.

Mountain Picklers

The Connestee Falls Mountain Picklers www.carolinapickleball.com are very proud of this program and will continue to sponsor the tournament as long as we have players. This coming year, we are considering expanding the venue, utilizing our tennis courts, and in the event of rain, Brevard College, our Recreation center and the local racquet club have offered facilities. We thank PickleballCentral for their support this past year, giving us raffle items for the tournament and hope to have them on board this next year, supporting us support kids going to college.

Mountain Picklers players Pickleball players George Vickery, Eric Ostrec, Ron Kiviniemi and Buck Baker enjoy a competitive contest earlier this year at Connestee Falls - Photo Courtesy of The Transylvania Times, Dec. 24, 2015, Vol.129, No.103

PS I am starting a youth program at the boys and girls club and will be running a multi-generational tournament/playday the week after Easter this spring.

Thank you, Deb, for sharing some of your club's story supporting your community! Congratulations!