Pickleball fundraiser in Dresden

Peggy Hope, left, and Anne Leung were among more than 20 pickleball players taking part in a session at the WISH Centre recently. The sport is growing in popularity as snowbirds bring it back from Florida where is is a major activity.

A unique fundraising weekend featuring all things pickleball with a sprinkle of the NHL will be held in Dresden this coming weekend. 

Hosted by local NHLer T.J. Brodie of the Toronto Maple Leafs and his wife Amber, the event is being held to raise money for the Lighthouse Foundation – a charity the couple founded to raise awareness and support the fight against cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis.

Leading the charge against the two illnesses is near and dear to the couple’s heart. T.J., who grew up on a farm between Dresden and Chatham, watched his cousin grapple with CF his entire life before undergoing a successful lung transplant.

Then in 2015, Amber was diagnosed with MS, an autoimmune disorder that can be disabling.

Called “Rally at the Barn,” the event will turn Dresden’s Ken Houston Agricultural Centre into one big pickleball venue for Friday and Saturday.

A free youth clinic will be held Friday morning from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., with a beginner level Ladies Only Pickle and Cider event from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $65 with a maximum of 24 entries.

A Let’s Play Pickleball Clinic aimed at beginners will follow from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $50 with a maximum of 24 participants.

Open Pickleball Play for all skill levels will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Cost is $25 and all skill levels are welcome.

The Rally Hot Stove event (included in the weekend entry pass or the purchase of any pickleball event) is scheduled from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

An all-day tournament will take place Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will include a men’s division, a ladies’ division and a mixed division.

The men’s and ladies’ events will run in the morning with the mixed to follow in the afternoon.

Cost is $75 for registration plus $25 per category entry.

The pickleball event is being organized by Cameron Taylor of Taylored Pickleball with the help of Chatham native Bret Shepley.

For more information or to register go to tayloredpickleballacademy.ca.






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