Pickleball Fever continues to spread in the Greenbrier Valley!
On Saturday, Oct. 2, Dr. Katie Kilcollin and the United Way are holding a fundraiser, challenging beginners, intermediates, and old pros at pickleball to come out and show their stuff, while supporting the organization that focuses on “education, health, and financial stability—the building blocks for a good quality of life.”
United Way CEO Erica Vaughn explained the fundraiser is part of a series, just one of several off-the-wall ideas for the organization during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Dr. Kilcollin thought out of the box—Pickle ball is an up and coming sport these day. Her and her family are really into it. Based on the preregistration, we have a lot of people coming to the clinic to try their hand at Pickle Ball. We also have some seasoned pros coming to give tips and play.”
Since pickleball was introduced to the Greenbrier Valley, courts have been installed at both Dorie Miller Park and another currently in the works at Hollowell Park. This event will be held at the Lunch Field in White Sulphur Springs.
This fundraiser is just one of a series put on by the 2021 United Way Young Leaders.
“The 2021 campaign committee nominated five young ladies and five young men who are up and coming entrepreneurs in Greenbrier County,” Vaughn said. “People are getting older and this is the next generation of givers and doers and hand-raisers in our community. They’re going to have to take the reins. Each of the young united leaders are responsible for raising $2,500. This is done through asking [for donations or] holding events.”
For those unable to make it to the pickleball event, a totally different type of event is coming shortly after.
“This is our second event,” Vaughn explained. “The first event was an end-of-summer bash … at the end of August with Dana Lynch and Travis Farley. This coming weekend we have a pickleball clinic with Dr. Katie Kilcollin. Oct. 9, Jocelyn Ford is having a hot dog [cookout] with her husband [Grady Ford’s] signature chili that he makes.”
The 2021 United Way of Greenbrier Valley Young Leaders include Kilcollin, Farley, Lynch, Ford, Ben Long, Ty Donovan, Tom White, Katie Eads, Oliver Irons, and Meredith German.
The United Way of Greenbrier Valley is a local nonprofit—Vaughn explained they offer “financial assistance to those who need [help with] utilities, medical needs. We’re working with the Mountaineer Rental Assistance program, helping people getting registered for that. You name it, we do it.”
The fundraising also looks to keep the organization working for the community during the pandemic.
“[COVID-19 has] affected our bottom line but we’re strong and solid. We were able to fully fund our partner agencies and I’m very proud of that fact. Last year, we were at 93% of our goal and we’re off to a good start this year. … The important thing is that our community needs us now more than ever, as we still continue in the pandemic. We’re still here. It’s a difficult task to be a nonprofit and fundraising in any community. [We need to be] concerned about everyone’s health and safety and still serve our community at the same time.”
Vaughn also noted the events would be “very conscious of everyone’s health and safety and social distancing.”
The “Pickleball Fever for United Way” is coming on Saturday, Oct. 2, between 10 a.m. and noon, at $50 per player. It is open to all skill levels, with instructors on-site, with beginners welcome. To sign up now, go to Hashtagwv.com.