The medal winners of women’s doubles at the Canadian Mental Health Associations’ Penticton charity pickleball tournament. Taking top spot were Lois Neu and Leah Currie of North Vancouver, Silver went to Jeannie Lister and Lori Needham of Penticton and Bronze to Donna Hammerquist and Leanne Barnes also of Penticton. (Submitted)

The medal winners of women’s doubles at the Canadian Mental Health Associations’ Penticton charity pickleball tournament. Taking top spot were Lois Neu and Leah Currie of North Vancouver, Silver went to Jeannie Lister and Lori Needham of Penticton and Bronze to Donna Hammerquist and Leanne Barnes also of Penticton. (Submitted)

Penticton pickleball tournament helps smash mental health fundraising goal

Over $51,000 raised for the local Canadian Mental Health Association branch

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s charity pickleball tournament was a smashing success as they cleared their $50,000 fundraising goal.

The CMHA of the South Okanagan Similkameen had set the goal for their fundraising campaign in June, and was $6,000 away before their tournament that took over the Penticton courts Sept. 16 to 18.

Thanks in part to the 132 players who came out from across the province, the CMHA ended up reaching $51,660 in fundraising for local mental health programs and services.

“We had tremendous support from the community,” said CMHA’s executive director Leah Schulting. “Our tournament director Patrick Meyer did an amazing job setting up the tournament and making sure we were organized and on-time plus we had a group of 40-plus volunteers from the Penticton Pickleball club who worked tirelessly all weekend.”

The action-packed weekend included men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles with athletes of all ages and skill levels competing.

READ MORE: Pickleball for mental health in Penticton

Since 2020, CMHA has seen the scale of mental distress increase significantly.

Funds raised will support suicide prevention training, mental health first aid, Unity Clubhouse, Mental Health Advocacy, and a meals program for those living with a mental illness.

The CMHA also thanked the community for their donations of silent auction items, raffle prizes, and to all the volunteers who made this event successful.

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