(Sept. 27, 2019) The Ocean Pines Pickleball Club is hosting the second annual Pickleball Pink Ribbon Classic on Friday to raise funds in support of a larger campaign that has contributed roughly $34 million for breast cancer research over the last two plus decades.
Tournament organizer Bobbie Corbett said the inaugural event last year netted about $4,000, which has already been exceeded for the second gathering.
“The support this year has been unbelievable,” she said.
Preceding Friday’s fundraiser, Corbett said 18 sponsors have kicked in anywhere from $100 to $1,000 to back the charitable effort.
“Atlantic Physical Therapy gave us $1,000, they’re one of our biggest sponsors,” she said. “Just from sponsors this year, we’re up to about $5,500 and a few are still coming in.”
Speaking days before the Sept. 30 entry deadline, Corbett said only one opening remained among the field of 72 participants, who each pay $35 to compete, with lunch and prize drawings also on the agenda.
“I assume we’re going to have a waiting list,” she said.
Pickleball, which was created in the late 1960s in Washington State, incorporates rules comparable to tennis and is played on a badminton-sized court. It was introduced as a drop-in sport in Ocean Pines in 2011 and has gained immense popularity.
Corbett said the idea for the pickleball tournament was brought to her last year and since then has taken on a life of its own.
“I was approached last year to see if we could get pickleball into our Pink Ribbon Classic umbrella … because it was such a popular sport and was growing so fast,” she said.
Since its inception in 2018, the fundraiser now has a wealth of involved parties, Corbett said.
“The volunteers this year took the ball and ran with it,” she said.
In addition to more than $8,000 being drawn from participants and sponsors, Corbett said numerous door prizes and a 50/50 raffle should help generate further funding.
Corbett said since the annual Pink Ribbon Classic Golf Tournament started in 1996, the event has inspired many similar endeavors.
“We always have the Pink Ribbon Classic Committee behind us,” she said. “It all culminates with the Making Strides [Against Breast Cancer] Walk on Oct. 19.”
For information, call Corbett at 443-735-2328 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.