Friday, February 8, 2013

Atlantic South Regional Tournament- Player Social

 Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a month since I've put anything out here.  Believe it or not - there has been nothing exciting going on.  I've been making my daily trip to Sebring for my radiation treatments.  ONLY THREE MORE DAYS AND I'M DONE!!!    YEAH!    We've been out to dinner a couple of times, I've been up playing Pokeno three or four times a week during the afternoon, and to Bingo on Monday and Wednesday evening.  Rich has played a little pickleball, but I've only been out twice in the last month - doctor's orders.

But last Wednesday we headed down to Naples, FL for the Atlantic South Regional Pickleball Tournament.  With a couple ambassadors from Ft. Myers, Nancy Meyer and Cindy Eddleman, we began the  planning for this event probably five month's ago.   It was a USAPA Sanctioned Tournament and our very first Regional Event, so we really had no idea how many players to plan for.  We had hoped to get between 100 and 125. Nancy and Cindy got a host hotel, the Quality Inn and Suites Golf Resort in Naples,  where they as the tournament directors and Rich and I, as the Regional Directors were given complimentary suites for three nights.

On Thursday evening we hosted the Player's Social where again we hoped we'd get 80-90 of the players attend.  All USAPA members were admitted to the social free and all others paid $6.  We had about 170 people attend!    The hotel did a great job with the buffet ; chicken, potato salad, beans, pulled pork barbecue ...  and there was more than enough for everyone!    We set up a slide show that played while people were arriving, there was a full cash bar set up for those who wanted a cocktail with their meal, and we had about 50 items that we gave away as door prizes.  That's Jodi Pree, one of the USAPA ambassadors from Marco Island calling out the winning numbers.

Several of our RV friends from here in Peace River came down to play, although not all of them made it to the player social.  But Rich and Dee, and Dean and Margie and Rene and Myra shared a table close to the buffet table, and if I remember correctly they took home a couple of the door prizes!  

My job that evening was to address the group and share a few statistics about USAPA across the country and more specifically across our Atlantic South Region of AL, GA, NC, SC and FL, and to manage the door prizes.    But the best part of the evening was having the special honor of presenting the 2012 USAPA Pioneer Award.  What made it even more special was that I got to present it to two very special friends of both Rich and I, Nancy Meyer and Cindy Eddleman, out of Ft. Myers, Fl who teach the game, promote the game and organize pickleball competitions across the country!    They both received a crystal plaque, a USAPA T-shirt, and a three year renewal of their USAPA membership.

It was a really enjoyable evening and a great way to start off the biggest tournament ever held east of the Mississippi!

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