Sense of community, fun were foremost at 2nd annual Pickleball for Heroes tournament

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“Pickleball is a family.” That’s how Susan Holmes, program manager for Operation TBI Freedom at Craig Hospital, described the participants at the second annual Pickleball for Heroes Tournament, held September 2-4 at the Apex Simms Street Center, 11706 W. 82nd Avenue, Arvada CO.

This family was on the large side. Participants numbered 294 for the second annual tournament, up from 250 at the inaugural event in 2015. All were enthusiastic and energized to play in a sunny Labor Day weekend tournament, with 100% of the proceeds going to support wounded military veterans in Colorado through Operation TBI Freedom.

“Pickleball Ken” Marquardt, who was instrumental in creating the tournament, introduced Holmes and also spoke to the sense of community that pervades the event. “Thank you for coming out today and making pickleball so special. It is our honor to raise money for Operation TBI Freedom.”

After Saturday’s opening remarks and a flag ceremony, players took to the courts for nonstop action through the end of the event on Sunday, September 4.

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