Vernon Pickleball Association heaps praise on super-volunteer Don Friesen

Value of 1, power of many

The Vernon Pickleball Association is honouring one of its own as we approach National Volunteer Week.

The theme of Volunteer Week (April 18-24) is 'The Value of One, The Power of Many.'

"This theme embodies the ... membership as a whole, and the monumental work that has been accomplished this past year," the association says – but "one VPA member, Don Friesen, was the driver behind this project, and deserves special recognition."

The VPA had a busy year, indeed, with fundraising and construction of a roof, making its courts at Marshall Field usable year-round.

"Don Friesen’s dream of a 12-court, enclosed pickleball facility in Vernon began five years ago and now, under his volunteer management, expertise and direction is an amazing reality," said club president Patricia Andrews.

"The building is nothing short of impressive."

Andrews said the project is an example of extraordinary teamwork made possible by many volunteers, who were co-ordinated by Friesen.

"Don’s volunteer commitment and dedication over the years has been truly outstanding and, as many would agree, it would not have happened without his perseverance."

"If I start something, I’m going to finish it," said Friesen. "And I knew five years ago when the idea began that the design and intention was to have a covered facility. For me, the best days are when I see the courts are full and everyone is happy and playing pickleball."

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in North America, and the VPA has more than 500 members.

An opening date for the completed complex has yet to be announced.

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