Pickleball for a Purpose: local charity benefits from Hampden tournament

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 11:44 PM EST
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HAMPDEN, Maine (WABI) - It was pickles and paddles for a purpose Friday at the first day of the second annual Lady Sienna Pickleball Classic at Armstrong Tennis Center in Hampden.

The tournament is in honor of Sienna White, who died in 2018 after a battle with cancer.

The nonprofit Lint Rollers and Lemonade works to “fill gaps” for families of local children with serious medical issues.

More than 100 participants, including TV-5′s own Emilie Hillman and Brian Sullivan, came out for the first day of the tournament.

The fastest-growing sport in America has a fast learning curve, and served as the perfect way to get together to honor Sienna, who enjoyed playing with family.

”We’re bringing well over 100 people here to have fun playing pickleball and to really support a great cause helping kids that are along the same journey as Sienna went through with her cancer experience, and being able to help out those kids where we can. It’s a tremendous honor to be here,” Brian White, Sienna’s uncle, said.

“The vibe is great, the music is great. We’re here for all the same reasons,” committee member Shelly said. “We have people that are here, traveling from quite a distance. We’re all here to support them, to support Sienna’s family and to support pickleball.”

The tournament continues through Sunday.

Last year, the foundation raised $12,000 - and organizers say with more players this year, the goal of $15,000 is within reach.