Picklers put $200k+ toward new city courts

It’s not “game on” just yet, but local pickleball players are another big step toward a set of courts at Carrie Blake Community Park.

Members of the Sequim Picklers presented the City of Sequim with a check for $217,700 on Dec. 20, going toward the construction of eight tournament-quality pickleball courts the park on the city’s east end.

The foundation for the courts was constructed in 2017 and the courts are expected to be complete in the spring of 2018, city officials said last week.

Members of the Sequim Picklers addressed the Sequim City Council in December 2014 when they saw pickleball courts included in the draft of the Carrie Blake Park Master Plan.

“We began an education campaign about pickleball and started fundraising amongst our members so we could come to the City Council with seed money for the project,” Sequim Pickler JoAnne Yerkes said.

City councilors included $51,000 in the 2016 budget for the pickleball courts and, in 2017, the Sequim Lodging Tax Advisory Committee recommended approval of a $10,000 grant from lodging tax funds, based on the expectation of tournaments to be held on the courts.

In 2016, however, the pickleball group realized that they had raised less money that year than the previous year.

In order to meet their financial goals, a challenge grant was proposed to the membership that would match a percentage of their contributions with additional funds. That challenge resulted in a 700 percent return on investment and raised $55,000 in three weeks, with an additional $9,000 in matching funds from the Yerkes Family Fund.

In total, Sequim Picklers contributed $102,037 to the project.

Other contributors to the project include: $34,000 from the Clallam County Lodging Tax Fund; pro bono architectural services from Christiane Johnson; $10,000 from the Haller Foundation; $10,000 from the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, and $5,000 from First Federal.

“This is a great example of members of the community working together with local government and community partners to accomplish a goal that has wide spread and long-term benefits for the region,” Joe Irvin, Assistant City Manager and City parks representative, said.

Contact Irvin at jirvin@sequimwa.gov or 360-582-2457 for more information.

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