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Pickleball for Friendship Returns with a Prosperous Future

Pickleball for Friendship Returns: In a bid to strengthen community support, Pickleball for Friendship returns for its second year at The Sports Club of West Bloomfield on August 4. The fundraiser, initiated by longtime Friendship Circle volunteer Jennifer Lovy, aims to surpass last year’s success by raising $20,000 for Friendship Circle, Last year’s first pickleball fundraiser, spearheaded by event organizer and longtime Friendship Circle volunteer Jennifer Lovy, raised $17,000.

Setting her sights higher for this year, Lovy aims to surpass that milestone with a target of $20,000. A nonprofit dedicated to serving individuals with special needs.

“Because Friendship Circle has been such an amazing resource to our family, I wanted to do something to give back to the organization in a meaningful way.” – (Lovy)

Lovy’s son, Evan, aged 18 and involved in Friendship Circle programs, joined the Lovy family for their first Walk4Friendship when he was just 3 years old. As they prepare for their 16th annual walk, Jennifer Lovy aims for Pickleball for Friendship to aid Friendship Circle in achieving its $1 million fundraising target.

“By doing a pickleball fundraiser, not only am I helping to raise critical funds for the organization, but I’m also helping spread the word about what Friendship Circle does for the community. This includes sharing its mission with pickleball players that may not be familiar with what Friendship Circle does.” – (Lovy)

Community Impact and Fundraising Drive

Last year’s first event drew a sold-out crowd of 50 players and 30 spectators, signaling a promising start. This year, with enhanced enthusiasm and participation, organizers anticipate an even larger turnout. Participants can test their skills against local celebrities and ranked players for a $200 donation, while supporters can attend for $40, cheering on players and contributing to the cause.

Celebrity Presence and Beyond

Highlighting this year’s event are notable figures like former Detroit Red Wing Kris Draper, ex-Detroit Lion Scott Kowalkowski, and local pickleball pro Nick Meyer. The lineup also includes U.S. Open Gold Medalist Dee Geelhood, showing the event’s growing prestige and appeal.

An online auction adds to the excitement, offering diverse prizes such as pickleball and tennis lessons, a sunset sail on Lake St. Clair, and the chance to play alongside Draper.

“There are a lot of moving parts to getting an event off the ground. Last year, the response was overwhelmingly positive. I learned what worked and what didn’t and made a few changes for this year. For example, how we had players rotate courts to be with the featured players got a little confusing, so we changed things for this year.” – (lovy)

Organizational Support

Supported by The Sports Club of West Bloomfield, South Valley Internal Medicine, Thav Gross Attorneys, and Hayman Company, Pickleball for Friendship embodies a collaborative effort. Lovy emphasizes the event’s inclusive spirit: “Players of all levels are welcome, ensuring a fun-filled day for everyone involved.” Spectators can enjoy refreshments and Pickleball for Friendship T-shirts, enhancing the festive atmosphere.

Pickleball for Friendship Returns (1)

Future Prospects and Gratitude

Reflecting on the community’s response, Lovy expresses optimism for the event’s future that they refined their approach based on feedback from the previous year, aiming to ensure a seamless experience for all attendees. Friendship Circle board chair Ron Hodess commends Lovy’s dedication, affirming her pivotal role in advancing the organization’s mission.

“We are excited at Friendship Circle about the upcoming second-annual pickleball fundraiser spearheaded by Jen Lovy, We are very fortunate at the Friendship Circle to have her as an active board member.” – (Ron Hodess)

News in Brief: Pickleball for Friendship Returns with a Prosperous Future

Pickleball for Friendship returns for its second year at The Sports Club of West Bloomfield, led by Jennifer Lovy to raise funds for Friendship Circle. Last year’s event raised $17,000, and Lovy aims to surpass that with a $20,000 goal.
The fundraiser, supported by local celebrities like Kris Draper and Dee Geelhood, features a $200 donation for players and a $40 entry fee for spectators.
With community backing and organizational support, including from The Sports Club of West Bloomfield, the event promises a day of fun and philanthropy. Lovy’s efforts reflect her personal connection and commitment to Friendship Circle’s mission.


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