BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - What do you get when you mix a popular sport with a good cause? You get the ‘Battle for the Pink’ charity pickleball tournament.
The tournament raises money for the American Cancer Society.
“I was at a city council meeting and the pickleballers were there talking about some funding for the courts and enhancements and we got to talking about the breast cancer program for Real Men Wear Pink and they suggested, why don’t we do a tournament?” said Kenny Glavan.
This tournament pitted Biloxi Councilman Kenny Glavan’s team the ‘Glavan Gulls’ against State Representative Kevin Felsher’s team the ‘Felsher Flounders.’
The two are Real Men Wear Pink Ambassadors who helped organize the event to raise awareness for breast cancer.
96 pickleball players came out to the courts in Biloxi for the spirited competition.
“I didn’t think that that many people would come out," said Kevin Felsher. "I didn’t know what to expect, but between the sponsors around the community who have stepped up and the citizens who have showed up just to support us and play, it’s been an overwhelming feeling.”
Many of these pickleballers have personal reasons for competing.
“Breast cancer has killed several of my friends," said Sherry Barnes. "And I probably have 10 friends that are survivors and I had a little scare last year, so I know that early detection is very very important and we need money for research so we can eradicate this whole disease for men and women.”
Teresa Bergeron also added “I’ve had a lot of friends that have passed from breast cancer and also have a lot of friends that are survivors and here to support them and the pink today.”
Fortunately, the tournament raised around $8,000.
Today’s tournament was hosted by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Pickleball Inc. and the City of Biloxi.