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Pickleball players raise awareness for breast cancer

On Oct. 15, pickleball players gathered in Bear Valley Springs to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.

The BVS Pickleball Club hosted the 1st annual Pink Ribbon Classic, a pickleball tournament that helped raise $3,419 for the Tehachapi CANCER FOUNDATION. A total of 48 players teamed up to compete and play pickleball all day. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the nation and it is alive and well in Bear Valley.

On Saturday players from Bear Valley Springs, Tehachapi, Hart Flat, Bakersfield, Hanford, Visalia, Santa Clarita, Acton, Palmdale and Lancaster gathered to help remind us that October is breast cancer awareness month. Nearly everyone in attendance wore pink as part of their pickleball attire.

The 48 players were divided into 12 four person teams and a hybrid pickleball tournament was off and running. Approximately six hours later, a tournament champion was crowned. The three top teams received gold, silver or bronze medals which displayed a beautiful pink ribbon declaring Breast Cancer Awareness.

"We picked the middle of October for the tournament to keep the conversation about breast cancer in our minds, breast cancer and other cancers have impacted our lives so many times. My wife is a three-time survivor, my sister-in-law is now fighting and we have lost family members and friends to something that is treatable when detected early. Awareness and testing is critical," said Key Budge event coordinator.

The Tehachapi CANCER FOUNDATION helps local cancer fighters with things they may need including some financial assistance.

Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley provided educational material and goodies for the swag bags. Tehachapi Winery, Dorner Family Vineyards, Carlin Gibbs Pickleball Coaching, the NAG Pickleball Shop, Diadem Pickleball and Selkirk Pickleball all donated prizes to the event. The BVS Pickleball Club has also issued a month long play with a pink ball challenge for local players. Play with a pink ball to continue to raise awareness to breast cancer, or play with a green ball and donate a dollar which goes to the Tehachapi CANCER FOUNDATION. This challenge ends on Oct 31.

People can donate to the Tehachapi CANCER FOUNDATION directly or contact the BVS Pickleball Club, who will accept the donation and turn them in at the end of October.