Pickleball has become a hot topic these days as everyone seems to be embracing this sport accidently created back in the mid 1960’s. Don’t snicker at it being a sport either, it’s backed by over 53K members of the United States Amateur Pickleball Association (U.S.A.P.A.). We thought with all the love for this trending sport, we would turn it into a fun event.
On November 15, 2022 The Volen Group and nearly 100 of our friends, business partners and amazingly supportive clients took center court at The Yards in Ponte Vedra Beach for some round round pickleball. We wanted to have some competitive fun while raising funds for St. Johns County teachers and, as it turned out, the night was a huge success! Together we raised over $3,000 for INK!’s initiatives to elevate St. Johns County Educators. That $3,000 quickly turned into $6,000 when matched dollar for dollar by INK!
Who is INK! (Investing in Kids)
Investing in Kids (INK!) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that directly supports St. Johns County School District’s teachers and students. Established in 1994, INK! has spearheaded the efforts to provide all the resources and tools needed in the district’s educational system for both students and teachers alike to support academic success through funding and initiatives.
The fundraising event was round robin style which was super fun that you have a new teammate with every 10 minute match you played. Nearly all of our guests were beginners at pickleball and “having fun for a good cause” was top of mind. If you have never been to The Yards in Sawgrass Players Club, you should for sure put that on your list. The Yards was incredibly accommodating at setting up our round robin play and the staff was beyond amazing. We couldn’t have knocked this out of the park without them.
Our big winners of the event were Andrew Kurz and Leah Zalupski who took home the 1st place medals and the coveted Pickleball Fanny Pack!
The night went off without a hitch and wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing business partners and sponsors, First Coast Mortgage Funding and Crockett Title as well as catering provided by Biscottis. Special thanks to Anna Washington with The Yards and her amazing team, Catherine Newman and Donna Lueders with INK! Investing in Kids and Kacey Roache with Value our Teachers.
It’s not too late to make a donation to INK! for this fundraiser. You can still donate in the button below. We hope everyone who came out had an amazing time and we can’t wait for the 2nd Annual Pickleball Fundraiser next year. Stay tuned in 2023 for more details!
Jenn Heller is the Operations Manager for The Volen Group, Keller Williams Luxury International, with over 18 years experience in Real Estate. She is an Atlantic Beach resident via Long Island, NY since 1991, a book worm, and loves sports, dogs and the beach.