Friday, January 28, 2011


Rich and I had been working for month's planning this tournament. It was back in October when we went to Wauchula's Friday Night Live that we first met the Hardee Animal Rescue Team (H.A.R.T.) They are an organization formed by a small group of people to help save the lives of the stray and abandoned animals in Hardee County Florida. We were so impressed with what they were doing with so very little support that we decided to organize a benefit event to raise funds.

On Tuesday, January 25th, we held our "Pickleball for Paws" pickleball tournament here in Peace River.
It was scheduled as a double elimination tournament with men's and ladies doubles played in the morning and the mixed doubles competition in the afternoon. We opened the registration in December and within just a few weeks we had 9 men's doubles teams, 8 ladies doubles teams and 18 mixed doubles teams.

Joining the players from TT Peace River were those from Torrey Oaks, and several players from Kings Point over in Sun City Center. Jack and Diane, Krystal, Nate, Austin and Charlotte drove down from Orlando for the day..... One thing that we did in keeping with the purpose of the day was to give everyone a new canine or feline 'surname' for the day which they displayed proudly on their name badges.

Everyone's first match and the final medal matches were played as best two out of three games. Winners remained, and continued to play in the winners bracket. Losers went to the consolation bracket where they could work their way back to play in the medal match. Once you lost two matches you were out


The mixed doubles was set up the same way and we started that right on schedule, just after noon. Rain and storms were scheduled to move in late afternoon or early evening.............but the first shower arrived just before 3:00 - and we were not able to complete the mixed doubles competition.

Each player paid a $5 registration fee to play in the tournament. Rich and I went all over Wauchula asking business' to help sponsor the event with donations for a raffle. We had a wonderful and generous response. Some of the RV'ers donated items, and vendors like The Pickleball Bug, Pickleball Specialties, Pickleball Paddle Peddler, and S-Type Sports donated shirts, visors, a paddle, mugs and balls. We even had a donation from Mt. Olive Pickle Co in North Carolina! We had enough gift certificates to purchase water and pizza for all the players. So when not watching the games - there was lots to do.

And this is where you found many of the players as well as RV'ers throughout the park. H.A.R.T. set up their tent, and brought along several of their small cats and dogs currently up for adoption. At some point they plan to have in place a low cost spay and neuter program and a Ferrell cat catch, spay/neuter tag their ear and release to reduce the roaming homeless animal population. Today they offer an adoption service for both cats ($50) and dogs ($75) that includes spaying or neutering and all shots.

And so................. How Did We Do????

Well the pickleball players proved today, what we already knew; that they love to play pickleball, they love to have fun, and they are a very very generous group of people.

First off ..............the tournament winners:
First Place Ladies Doubles: Nadine "Bichon", and Louann " Lynx, from Sun City Center.

First Place Men's Doubles: John F "Jaguar" and Dean "Boxer" Thousand Trails.

Second Place Ladies: Carla "Calico" and Diane "Ragamuffin" - Thousand Trails.

Second Place Men: Bill "Beagle" and Rene "Bengal" Thousand Trails.

Third Place Ladies - Tracy "Tuxedo" and Krystal "Angora"- Thousand Trails

Third Place Men: 16 year old (in human years!) Austin "Schnauzer" and Rich " Basset Hound" - Thousand Trails
While no winners were announced for the mixed doubles - the competition was fierce. Of the 18 teams that took to the courts, we were down to the final Seven!!!! Two teams remained in the winners bracket: Rich "Basset Hound"/ Nadine "Bichon and Austin "Schnauzer"/Tracy Tuxedo. The final five teams in the consolation bracket were ready to play and work their way back to the winners colum: Bill "Beagle"/Donna "Bisenji (I personally thought this team had an excellent chance at the gold!), Stan "Cheetoh"/Sally "Shepherd", Dean "Boxer"/Charlotte "Tiffany", John F "Jaguar"/Carla "Calico and Nate "Great Dane/Krystal "Angora"
There were two adoptions that we know of, one was a cat and the other was this cutie.......Her name is Darby. Jean is holding Darby - but the proud mom and dad are Bruce and Gena......... And here is a note that Rich and I received yesterday from H.A.R.T...... We can't thank our pickleball friends enough for making this such a successful and rewarding day!

I wanted to let you know that today, we are banking $745 including the adoption money and donations people made to buy HARTs.

We cannot thank you enough for your efforts and wonderful caring nature. Everything you have raised in donated food, toys, cleaning materials, bedding has gone to some animals already. I have some very appreciative cats running around with their new toys, they love the old pickleballs.

Thank you from all the team of HART.

Jill & Barry Edgley

CLICK HERE for more information on H.A.R.T. and how you can help too.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

We're Back Home in Peace River

It seems that I just can't seem to find the time to update this Blog as often as I'd like. That's probably a good thing - meaning that we are very very busy and having fun!
We arrived back in Peace River a week ago, on Tuesday the 18th. What have we been doing all week? Well - getting ready for our big Benefit Tournament tomorrow!!!! That means running around getting the merchants of Wauchula to donate great stuff for our Raffle. They have been very very supportive.......

In the meantime, despite the cold weather, we've managed to get out to the courts and play a few times.

Friday night was "Friday Night Live in Wauchula" and this month was 50's night, with music from the 50's and girls sporting their white sox and poodle skirts.

We started the night with dinner at Paul's Kitchen with Bruce and Gena. As usual the meal was the usual "large" portion and very very good. Gena went for the patty melt, me - the Ruben and the guys went for the fish; Bruce with combination platter and Rich with the Salmon. There was a bit of a wait, but we finished and made it over to downtown Wauchula for the festivities before 7:30.

We walked around a bit and then headed for the stage area and ran in to Vick and Judy.........
Not long after, along came Lois with Dean and Margie........

Margie and Lois had wandered off after a short while.....Wonder where they went???? Looks like they found the Hardee Animal Rescue Team's tent where they had some cute cats, rabbits and small dogs that were up for adoption. Lois already has two small dogs ---- is she looking for number 3?

Or, is she trying to convince Margie that this little one would be a great addition to the Loveland family?
Meanwhile - back in the park center, the band Galaxy, continues with hits from the 50's, the kids are having fund with the hoola hoops ( can you imagine? they probably never saw one before!) and the two finalists are judged for their 50'2 attire. Both of these young girls did a great job dressing up 50's style!

Dean grabbed the camera to take a picture of Rich and I. As usual - Rich had food in his hand. We could not leave the festivities of the night without a funnel cake!
An this was the best picture of the night. This is the lady that was running the event for the night - and she stopped by where we were standing to dance with Judy.
All in All - We had a fun night! Thanks Wauchula!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

On The Courts in Orlando

We've been here for nearly two weeks and I never made it to the courts with the camera. Yesterday afternoon there was a small but fun group out playing and I had the opportunity to snap a few pictures.

Bill and Dean brought their better half out to practice before the rest of the crowd arrived. Val has been out playing with the group several times - but Margie not so often. She really is much better than she thinks!
Kim and Jack.

Rich and Big Mike

Diane showing off her pickleball skills, partners up with Bill

Bob and a newbie - Barbara
Dean partners up with Vick.
Charlotte watches as Bill goes for the lob.
Tomorrow is packing day and the forecast is for rain. So between the raindrops we hope to get most everything packed away, and the fifth hooked up. Tuesday morning it will be disconnecting the water and electric and hitting the road early. We're looking forward to returning to Peace River and getting ready for our tournament on the 25th.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Only Three More Days

We only have three more days left here in Orlando and our two weeks are up. The time has gone by very quickly, especially with the pickleball courts full most every day. The weather has been a lot colder the last few days but today (Saturday) is really quite pleasant.

Yesterday Rich's doubles partner came up to play for about three hours. Gary lives down in Highlands Ridge in Sebring - and he and Rich are always looking for some good competition. Rich will be going down to Sebring on Wednesday with some of the players from Tanglewood. There were a lot of players out on the courts yesterday. The morning was quite chilly, so everyone came out later around 11:00 or so. I went down about 2:30 and played until nearly 5:00

We went down to the lodge last night for their Friday night Fish Fry. It was very good. Austin and Arik and Krystal were working hard behind the counter - and there was a huge turnout - so they were really working hard!!! A lot of the pickleball players had the same idea - we met up with Jerry and Vivian, Neil and Shirley, Dean and Margie and Bill and Val! Most of us followed up our dinner with a trip to the ice cream bar!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pickleball Players Meet for Happy Hour

We're still at TT in Orlando, and it's been pickleball at 9:00 am and 3:00 pm most every day. Lots of players in the park now, so we've had as many as eight people on the courts and 10 or 12 waiting to play - so to keep the wait time to a minimum we've done a lot of 9 point games. Several nights during the week Rich has met up with Austin at the courts to do some drills and then four of the guys meet up for some competitive games. Usually that's Rich, Austin, Bill, Nate or Dean....

The weather has been a little on the cool side - but not bad for being out on the courts. Lots of rain on Monday kept us off the courts, but on Tuesday we were back out in full force at 9:00.

Jack and Diane arrived on Monday so it only made sense that we get together for Happy at 5:30 we bundled in some warmer clothes as the weather was turning a bit colder and met at the Red Neck Castle (Jack and Diane's site).

Posted by PicasaThere was a pretty good group out tonight. I must have really been involved in some heavy chatter; I seldom come home with so few pictures. I missed the Showalters and Vickie and even Jack!!! But the crowed tonight included Nate, Krystal, Austin and Arik, Will and Ella, Charlotte, Dean and Margie, Vickie and Bob, and some new faces - Bill and Val and Big Mike and Kim.
The food was awesome and included Chile, Stuffed Jalipinos, Nacho Salad, Cheese,Crakers and dips, Meatballs, Sloppy Joes, Strawberry Pie and Chocolate Cake! Let me tell you - these pickleball players know how to cook!!!
As usual - most of the night was spent talking about pickleball and trying to figure out whose playing with all the upcoming events. We have pickleball in Sun City on the 22nd for Thousand Trails vs Sun City which includes a barbeque. We have the benefit tournament on the 25th in Peace River and we have the Kings Point Wing Ding on the 29th!
It was about 8:00 when we got back home and we settled in for the night. A very cold night and a threat of dropping to the 30's by Thursday morning!!!! BRRRRRRRRRRR

Thursday, January 6, 2011

From Peace River to TT Orlando

It's hard to believe that it's been nearly three days since we left Peace River. We pulled out of the park about 9:30 Tuesday morning and stopped for a quick lunch at Burger King before we pulled into TT Orlando. We always like to park back in the wooded section, and we were surprised when the site we like the best was open. So we pulled in to Site D157, had everything set up including Direct TV in time to be at the courts by 3:00 for pickleball.

There were only about a dozen of us out playing, but it was so nice to see some folks that we hadn't seen since last year, like Charlotte and Dean and Margie. We had been so dissapointed when Nate and Krystal, decided to spend the winter in Orlando instead of Peace River this year when both Krystal and Arik were able to find jobs there. Tuesday was Krystal's day off so she and Nate and Austin were out on the courts.

At about 6:00 we headed out for dinner. It was Chili's tonight where we both ordered a chicken dish........It was OK, but definately not worth the price. Neither of us are big fans of Chili's but it was close and we gave it one more try........Probably won't go back!

The tire on Rich's bike went flat just before we left Peace River so we made a quick stop at WalMart to pick up a tire, a washer we needed for the water hose and then a few groceries before we headed back. We called it a day about 9:00. We had to get up early the next morning.

On Wednesday morning the alarm went off about 6:15am, and we were on the road to The Villages by 7:15. We were meeting Coach Mo at 8:30 at the pickleball courts at Pimlico.

Didn't get the camera out in time to catch Mo on the courts, but here's Rich playing his last game of the morning.

And we were really surprised to see this lady at The Villages!! This is Sandy Rohner, the USAPA Ambassador from Halfmoon, NY and we learned that she was visiting The Villages and renting a villa there until mid March. We had originally met Sandy over in Ft. Lauderdale last year at the National Senior Games. She and I played about 4 or 5 games together that morning.
We stopped at Subway to pick up a couple of subs and headed back to Mo's place to meet up with Jeanne and have lunch. That was followed by a delicious peanut butter/chocoate dessert that Jeanne had prepared. We watched some of the video that Mo and Rich had filmed this summer while we were there, and then some video that was taken of Mo and his partner playing at the USAPA Tournament out in Buckeye, AZ last month. We picked up 10 more of Coach Mo's DVD's and headed back to Orlando. Rich changed the bike tire and we headed back down to the courts for pickleball at 3:00. About 3/4 of the way to the courts.....................the brand new tire on the bike went flat AGAIN!! It has now been determined that the rim is the problem.............and so next on our list of 'TO DO's' is to pick up another bike for Rich!

At the courts we learned that a Happy Hour had been planned for 5:30 that evening at the Showalters.

For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure......this is AVA, the newest member of the Showalter family. AVA enthusiastically greeted us upon our arrival.
Unfortunately - mother nature decided that an outdoor happy hour was not to be enjoyed this evening. It started to rain, so we had to pack up all the food and move the happy hour indoors at the Clubhouse.
Tracy, Jim and their daughter along with Margie and Dean.
Happy Hour folks mingling and Dave stops to pose with Charlotte!

And the Showalters - our Hosts for the evening. Krystal made enough Lasagna for everyone and the rest of us brought a dish to pass.
Another reason for our Happy Hour tonight was to celebrate year number 61 with the Birthday Boy! Austin surprises Dean with his birthday cake! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAN!!!

Today we both slept in a little later than normal. Rich headed back for the pickleball courts at 3:00 today and said there was a big group playing. And he and a few other guys made plans to meet back at the courts at 7:00 pm............ It's nearly 9:00pm - so he must be having a good time!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


The New Year's Eve celebrations started early at Peace River this year. On Friday morning Rich and I hosted a Pickleball Round Robin to start off the festivities. The weather has been pretty darn cold here, but today it was an absolutely perfect day to bring out the paddles and take to the courts from some fun and friendly competition
Remember to CLICK on any one of the photo's to enlarge and enjoy! Use the back arrow to return to this page.

Many of the players arrived at the courts around 9:00 am to get a little practice in before the competion started. Stan and Sally arrived from Torrey Oakes and brought along Joe and Cis and a couple other players. Our newest pickleball players Hedy and Art (with Diane and her mom in picture lower left above) not only came to join in the games, but brought refreshments for everyone! Thanks for the donuts!!!! Players and spectators were ready for the games to begin.

There were eleven ladies ( Becky, Hedy, Linda, Shirley, Diane, Sandra Ella and me from TT. and Sally, Cis and Maureen from Torrey Oaks) that paired off for the five game round robin. Games were played to 11 points with rally scoring. Teresa was the referee for all the ladies matches and did a great job. Lots of fun - lots of laughs and some pretty competitve games.

There were 17 men (Neil, Harry, Greg,Jerry O., Art, Bob, Jerry S., Jack, Chris, Jerry G., Buddy, Danny, Carl and Roger from TT and Stan, Joe and Chuck from Torrey Oaks). Rich was the official scorekeeper and Ron did a super job as referee for all the men's matches. Because there were more men they only played a four game round robin, again 11 point rally scoring. There were some very close matches and the winners were not decided until the very end. It was nice to have some of the young folks out competing too. Chris ( I think he's about 14, Danny who is Jerry S's son, who is graduating from high school this year, and a couple of the guys who were probably in there late 20's or 30's.

Congratulations to our winners!! (From left to right in the photo above:) Becky (3rd place), Diane (2nd place) and Sandra ( ladies champion!) The scores were close with the third and fourth place finishers only 3 and 4 points behind. Great job ladies.

Congratulations to the men's finalists: (from left to right in the photo above) Stan (3rd place), Harry (2nd place) andJerry O., (men's champion!) First and Second place finishes were VERY close. Both Harry and Jerry O had 3 wins and a 19 point spread. It was the points won in the only match they lost that determined the winner!! Great Job guys.

Ribbons were awarded to the winners and EVERYONE received coupons for Burger King and a noise maker to ring in the New Year! All the players from TT Peace River broke for a few hours and then reunited at Buddy's place at 8:00pm to party until midnight!!

Everyone brought their chairs and beverage of choice along with a dish to pass. We cooked hot dogs over the campfire and feasted on an array of delicious dishes and desserts, including chile, macaroni and pasta salads, various types of meatballs, dips chips and cheese, deviled eggs, jello dishes, chocolate and peanut butter candy,brownie delights, etc. etc. etc..
Bobby Mack was the DJ for the night, and the dancing stage was right there in Buddy's front yard. Roger and Linda, Diane and her mom, Ella and I spent a lot of time hitting the dance floor to line dance and most of the group joined in to do the Macarana (above)....the Chicken Dance, , the Electric Slide and.........

one of everyone's favorite - YMCA!!!

And this group was so entertaining. Those of you familiar with the park know that there is an area behind the pool/wash house that is primarily for campers with tents. Well there must have been 10 tents set up back there where this group spent the holiday. Not sure where they were from, but they were dressed up for New Years Eve, paraded in as a group and entertained us with some absolutely hilarious dance routines. The crowd was clapping and cheering them on!

By midnight many of the group had already headed for home........ Buddy opened a couple of bottles of Champagne and the remaining 15 or so of us welcomed in 2011 with hugs and kissed and wishes for for a great New Year.

To our friends and family here in Florida and across the country who are reading this.......