VENICE, Fla. — To celebrate National Pickleball Day on Monday, Aug. 8, the Play For Life Foundation donated its 16th Club-N-Box portable pickleball set to firefighters at the city of Venice Fire Rescue.
“My husband Brian and I started the Play For Life Foundation to be an extension of The Pickleball Club and to be able to give back to our community so that they can improve their healthy lifestyle,” said Valerie McCarthy, executive director of the non-profit organization.
The Play For Life Foundation has donated and delivered portable pickleball sets to several locations throughout the region, including two North Port Fire Rescue Stations, Girls Inc. of Sarasota County, Resilient Retreat – Sarasota, New Gate Montessori School, Sarasota Military Academy High School and Preparatory School, West Manatee Fire Station No. 3, North River Fire Station No. 1 and East Manatee Fire Department.
“We are very excited to be a recipient of the Play For Life Foundation,” said Frank Giddens, fire chief for Venice Fire Rescue. “This is a benefit for our firefighters in that it allows them to be physically fit, as well as strengthening our mental health with post-traumatic stress debriefing. It is a great opportunity for our firefighters to decompress after hours.”
The Play for Life Foundation is sponsored by The Pickleball Club (TPC), a premier, world-class, indoor pickleball facility and private membership club opening in Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch this winter.
Valerie McCarthy and her husband Brian founded TPC in 2019 with co-founder Matt Gordon. Brian McCarthy has developed more than half a billion dollars of commercial real estate during his career and is a combat disabled veteran. He served from Vietnam to Desert Storm as a surface warfare officer and logistician in the United States Navy and retired after 30 years of service at the rank of Rear Admiral. McCarthy was personally decorated 10 times during his career.
The Pickleball Club provides a private experience for members with outstanding amenities and opportunities for social and recreational enjoyment in an air-conditioned state-of-the-art sports facility. It is a sponsor of the Play For Life Foundation, which has a mission of introducing the sport of pickleball to youth, veterans and first responders. Each qualified organization is granted a Club-N-Box, containing nets, paddles, balls, and instructional material on how to play, and set up a court.
The Play For Life Foundation will soon donate ten additional sets to fire stations with East Manatee Fire District and six to area Boys and Girls Clubs.
About The Pickleball Club
Located at 1300 Sarasota Center Blvd., The Pickleball Club will be a brand-new, healthy living, private pickleball complex featuring 12 indoor pickleball courts with a tournament-level outdoor surface, an outdoor activity center, constantly rotating “Food Truck Alley”, Pickles Café, Dink’s Pro Shop, permanent nets, and HEPA filtered air-conditioned environment – perfect for avoiding those harmful UV rays and inclement weather conditions. The Club will feature PlaySight video technology for live streaming and recording capabilities for training purposes, tournament grade pickleball courts and luxurious locker rooms. The first club in Lakewood Ranch is currently under construction, three more are in development in Port Saint Lucie, Fort Myers, and Bonita Springs, with 15 clubs planned across the state of Florida in the next five years. For more information, go to ThePickleballClub.us.
[Photo 1 attached from left to right: Frank Giddens, fire chief for Venice Fire Rescue; Valerie McCarthy, executive director of the Play For Life Foundation and co-founder/chief operating officer for The Pickleball Club; Nova Grande, director of marketing for The Pickleball Club; Erica Love, director of pickleball for The Pickleball Club; Lance Martin, director of operations for The Pickleball Club]
[Photo 2 attached from left to right: Phil Castellano, Paul Lauffer, Chris Lalanne and Marty Diaz of Venice Fire Rescue with the Club-N-Box donation]