By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
MARLBOROUGH — The Ward Park Pickleball Club has donated $2,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Metrowest to help support local kids.
“It’s always wonderful to have Marlborough community organizations support the kids of Marlborough, and especially this year,” said Director of Resource Development Laura Terzigni.
She said the Boys & Girls Club is looking at what the new school year will look like.
“There’s a lot of needs for programs that we haven’t offered before. Kids are coming back and needing more academic support, needing more social support,” she continued.
This is the second year that the Ward Park Pickleball Club has held a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metrowest. They skipped the event in 2020.
This year, the group wanted to do something different for their fundraiser. So, Marlborough Recreation Director Charles Thebado suggested they hold the event at night.
“I didn’t even really know that we had the opportunity, but he has the ability to turn the lights on,” Dennis Pollard of the pickleball club’s steering committee said.
The club decided to hold its mixer on a Friday night on Aug. 6 at Ward Park, which led to the event’s name — “Friday Night Lights.”
Pickleball is played using wooden paddles and a plastic ball which is hit back and forth over a net.
This was a mixer, which means that players play with a number of other different people.
“It’s very social,” said steering committee member Joanne Avey.
Thebado also helped arrange for the Marlborough-based Lost Shoe Brewing and Roasting Company to serve beer during the event. Lost Shoe further donated a portion of their beer sales to the cause.
Additionally, one of the Ward Park Pickleball Club Steering Committee members coordinated a raffle after soliciting items from businesses, like pickleball items and restaurant coupons. Most of the attendees bought five tickets for $25, Pollard said.
“It was a huge success,” Pollard continued. “Our members want us to do another Friday night thing in the near future, so we’re planning another one.”
The fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metrowest fits into the pickleball club’s mission, Pollard said.
Terzigni said funds will now help kids reacclimate to a “normal” life and provide the supportive programs after a year and a half of disruption due to COVID-19.
“Our group is very interested in what we can do for the community,” Pollard said.
Pollard thanked the sponsors for the fundraiser and the city and Mayor Arthur Vigeant’s office for giving them a permit for their event.