On Thursday, March 23, from 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., the courts of the Tennis and Pickleball Club in Newport Beach will swing into action for a good cause as Project Access Resource Centers stages its first-ever charity fundraising pickleball tournament (presented by Freespeed Aviation, LLC). This fundraiser will raise funds to support low-income families throughout California and the country by showcasing the fastest-growing sport in the U.S.

According to a recent CNBC article:
Pickleball now boasts the support of LeBron James, Tom Brady, and more than 36 million other Americans. The rapidly growing sport is easy to learn and inexpensive. More than 36.5 million people played pickleball from August 2021 to August 2022, according to a new report by the Association of Pickleball Professionals released exclusively to CNBC. Earlier data pinned the participation rate of the sport at 5 million players in 2021. The latest numbers unveiled in the 2023 APP Pickleball Participation report, via a study conducted by YouGov, shows that 14% of Americans played pickleball at least once in that 12-month period. And over 8.5 million people played pickleball eight times or more.

Tournament registration includes two hours of play, a beginner’s clinic with a pickleball pro, a swag bag, prizes, food and refreshments, opportunity drawing, and a “totally rad” 1980s costume contest! The event is open to all skill levels, with doubles encouraged and singles welcomed. The tournament is “Ladder” format with no eliminations within the championship round. To register, visit www.project-access.org/pickleball

“We are so excited to have everyone join us on March 23 in beautiful Newport Beach because we’re confident all participants will have a wonderful time for a great cause,” states Kristin Byrnes, Chief Executive Officer and President of Project Access. “The funds raised through an afternoon of pickleball fun will help ensure that the most vulnerable among us have a home and support system that helps secure a promising future. We’re also grateful to Freespeed Aviation for their incredible support.”

“All of us at Freespeed Aviation are proud and excited to have the opportunity to support such a great non-profit organization as Project Access.  As a company, we believe in giving back to the community and supporting causes that help those in need,” says Rob Martin, President of Freespeed Aviation. “The tournament promises to be a fun-filled and competitive day, and we are proud to be a part of this event that supports Project Access’ mission to provide low-income families with access to healthcare and other vital services.  We look forward to a successful tournament and positively impacting the lives of those who need it most.”

A Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business based in Newport Beach, California, Freespeed Aviation’s professional team boasts over 45 years of combined experience in all aspects of aviation. The company focuses on providing concierge air charter broker services, consulting on aircraft management, acquisitions, and sales; flight department setup and general business aviation consulting; and flight crew recruiting and hiring. An honoree in the Inc. 5000 2022 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America, Freespeed is also proud to be a registered Wyvern Broker and a member of the following organizations: Air Charter Safety Foundation, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, and the Southern California Business Aviation Association.

Thank you to our committee members for their support in the inaugural pickleball tournament: Kristin Leffel, Chair; Sarah Connolly; Maryann Johndrow; Erica Keane; Hailey Roper; Natalie Tacorian