QUEENSBURY — The sun was shining high on the Ridge Park/Jenkinvsville pickleball courts for the second annual Chuck Allen Memorial Pickleball Tournament on Saturday.
The tournament is held in honor of Allen, who helped raise interest in the sport locally alongside his wife, Cindy, and the rest of the pickleball club.
To the side next to the courts there is a garden dedicated to Cindy and Chuck before her death in 2020 after battling eight different cancers.
“Whenever he was so sick from chemo, he just embodied the spirit back on the court,” Cindy said.
The tournament is a two-day event with men’s and women’s matches on Saturday and mixed doubles on Sunday.
Last year’s event saw 92 teams register and raised $3,400 for Double H Hole in the Woods, which serves children with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses.
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Mary Hilliard, tournament director and member of the ADK Pickleball Club, said this year 106 teams were registered for the second annual tournament.
The full amount of funds raised, which will benefit the Open Door mission in Glens Falls, was not available on Saturday.
But Hilliard said it looks like the event will raise about $1,000 more than last year.
“I think we’re going to raise well over $4,000,” she said.
Hilliard said Chuck was instrumental in building the pickleball courts in the park and at 450 Big Boom Road.
He also played an important role in the creation of the ADK Pickleball Club. But Hilliard said it was more of a group than a club.
“We have about four mixers a year where everyone is invited,” she said.
Cindy Allen said the club currently has 541 members. He started with 16 in 2013.
At the time, she said the group would play pickleball on regular tennis courts and place blue tape for the lines on a regulation pickleball court.
She paid tribute to the town of Queensbury, which built the club’s courts.
“They’ve been huge. They’re one of the most progressive cities in terms of getting to the courts before anyone else,” Cindy said.
The tournament continues Sunday with a mixed doubles. Registration and warm-ups begin at 8:00 a.m., with official play starting at 8:30 a.m.
For more information about the tournament or the ADK Pickleball Club, visit adkpickleball.com.
Jay Mullen is a journalist for The Post Star covering the city of Glens Falls, Warren County and crime and the courts. You can reach him at 518-742-3224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.