By David Rogers. BLOWING ROCK — Twenty-four pickleball enthusiasts converged on Memorial Park, Aug. 26, 12 men and 12 women. They were all entered in the first annual Blowing Rock Pickleball tournament to raise money for the Blowing Rock Community Foundation.
The round robin format of randomly paired teams in each timed round eventually produced a “King” and a “Queen.” Ed Kyles and Lee Moore accepted all the trappings of royalty by tourney’s end, receiving crowns, t-shirts emblazoned with their respective titles, and a big jar of Mt. Olive pickles to commemorate the occasion.
To date, the Blowing Rock Community Foundation has awarded more than one million dollars in college scholarships to students who attended Blowing Rock School, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to area non-profits. Of those receiving scholarships, foundation chair Sandy Miller reports that more than 95 percent have graduated with their degrees.
For 2022, the pickleball tournament is just the first fundraising event to be hosted by Blowing Rock Community Foundation. On Oct. 1, a full slate of 100 golfers are expected to participate in the organization’s annual Community Service Days golf tournament at Blowing Rock Country Club, beginning with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.
“This tournament is hugely popular,” said Miller, “notably because it is one of the few times that non-members get to play the beautiful Blowing Rock Country Club course. Reservations have already started to come in, so we encourage anyone interested to sign up as early as possible.
Miller also said that the “Groovy Nights” event will return in 2023.
“COVID-19, of course, made staging Groovy Nights next to impossible in both 2020 and 2021, and we decided to err on the side of caution for this year, too,” said Miller. “But in 2023, we will be back and there is already a lot of buzz about the acts that will be performing.”
Interested parties may learn more about the work of Blowing Rock Community Foundation and its various event opportunities by visiting www.blowingrockcf.org.