Vernon Pickleball Association raises $1 million to put roof on courts

Pickleballers raise $1M

Vernon's passionate pickleballers have smashed a $1-million fundraising goal to put a roof over their Marshall Fields courts.

The sport is one of the fastest growing in North America, and in Vernon that is definitely the case, where Vernon Pickleball Association members passed the million-dollar milestone in just three weeks towards their Raise the Roof campaign. 

A donation from the Pickleball Depot put the campaign over the top.

The courts were completed in August 2018 at a cost of $745,000. A regional district grant and a loan from the City of Vernon, along with donations and sweat equity from members, helped make the complex a reality. 

"The vision has always been for an enclosed, year-round facility, and the foundation was engineered for a permanent steel truss and fabric cover," says VPA president Rob Irving.

"The goal of raising $1.2 million in a short time frame seemed impossible, but with three investment and donation options presented to members for the future of pickleball in Vernon, an astonishing $1,001,843 has already been pledged."

Members will vote in July on proceeding with the project.

If pre-construction steps can be achieved in a timely fashion, a Christmas operational date is possible, says Irving.

In addition, a GoFundMe campaign seeks to raise $50,000 towards lighting for the facility. 

Enclosing the 12 pickleball courts (and two warm-up courts) will make the Vernon complex the largest of its kind in Canada. Membership is expected to top 500 by the end of 2020, Irving predicts.

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