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Featured Pickler: Pickleball is part of an up coming three-sport tourney in Oldsmar

A player makes a great return shot.
Pickleball players compete in last year’s tournament.

For a second straight year, pickleball will be part of an upcoming three-sport charity benefit. Golf and tennis are included in the Fourth Annual Tunnel to Towers Charity tournament, set for April 5-7 at the Ardea Country Club in Oldsmar.

In all, matches in 12 divisions will be played on 13 pickleball courts at the refurbished facility at East Lake Woodlands. Following the golf tourney on April 5, series for pickleball and tennis will be played April 6-7 as part of the three-day event.

“The growth of pickleball is amazing,” said Judy Foster, co-chair of the event along with Rose Chervitz. “Pickleball is much more of a social sport than tennis.”

The three-day tourney supports families of American heroes, fallen first responders and wounded veterans. The event was for tennis only in the first two years with pickleball and golf added last year.

In all, more than $150,000 has been raised for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation since the event’s inception in 2021.

“What they do with their programs is just amazing,” said Foster, who plays tennis and pickleball.

Last year, 230 pickleball players competed in the fundraiser. Foster expects a greater turnout this year, saying it could max out at 288 players.

Check out Tunnel to Towers Foundation for further details.

Photo by HJ Yang

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