Emily C. Roush
The Ashland Beacon
Shelter of Hope is partnering with the Ashland, Kentucky, Pickleball Club (AKYPC) to host a pickleball tournament fundraiser Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14, at the pickleball courts in Ashland’s Central Park.
The tournament will feature men’s, women’s and mixed doubles games, and all skill levels are welcome. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $30 for the first entry and $10 for the second entry. Participants will receive T-shirts, and medals will be awarded to first, second and third place in each category. Registration forms can be found at https://shelterofhope.org. All forms and payments must be returned to Shelter of Hope by July 5.
“We are hoping to make this an annual event,” said Janice Osborne Dowdy, chair of the board for Shelter of Hope. “We decided to go with a pickleball fundraiser because it is a unique event. We were not aware of any other organizations having a tournament like this,” she continued. Dowdy also said that pickleball’s emerging presence in the community made it the perfect fundraising idea. “Right now, pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country with adults. [AKYPC] and the Boyd County Library even offer free classes Thursday evenings to help people learn and practice. We are excited to partner with [AKYPC] and use the new pickleball courts in Central Park.”
For those unfamiliar with the sport, pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and Ping-Pong.
Dowdy also emphasized the importance that fundraisers like the Pickleball Tournament can have for Shelter of Hope. “Our goal is to help get homeless people back on their feet. There are a lot of expenses that go along with that,” she stated.
A 501c3 nonprofit, the organization relies on donations and fundraisers for its operations budget. Shelter of Hope, which is in its 31st year, helps the homeless in the FIVCO region of Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence Counties in Kentucky. According to the organization’s website, “The shelter’s mission is to provide temporary emergency shelter and permanent housing assistance for individuals and families in need of transitional services leading them to self-sufficiency and for whom none is available from existing community resources.” Dowdy said the work of Shelter of Hope goes beyond what many people realize.
“We walk people through the whole path of finding a place to live. Shelter of Hope provides counseling services, helps people fill out housing and HUD paperwork and so much more,” she said.
In addition to participating in the tournament, individuals and businesses can sponsor the event. There are three levels of monetary sponsorship, Gold ($500), Silver ($250) and Bronze ($100). Complete information about sponsorship opportunities and the sponsorship form are on Shelter of Hope’s website (https://shelterofhope.org). The event is free for spectators to watch, but there will be an area set up for people to make monetary donations during the tournament. Again, Dowdy stressed the importance of donations and fundraising to Shelter of Hope’s mission and operations. “There are big expenses involved with helping people set up their households. We assist them with rental, electric and water deposits. Our shelter has 10 apartment units located in a 100-year-old building that needs repairs and general maintenance. One of our long-term goals is to expand our shelter and increase our housing capacity. The money raised from this event will have a big impact.”
Information about the Pickleball Tournament and Shelter of Hope can be found on their website (https://shelterofhope.org) and Facebook page. Updates about the tournament will also be published on the Facebook page as the event approaches.