Impact Stories

Perseverance of Pickleball: 10-Year Choose Henry Grant Anniversary

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Imagine a fund that keeps on giving, year after year, like a gift basket overflowing with good things for our community. That’s the beauty of the Henry County Community Foundation’s (HCCF) Choose Henry Flex Fund.

Choose Henry goes beyond just handing out grants; it’s about neighbors helping neighbors build a brighter future, together.

Take Baker Park, for example. Ten years ago, the HCCF grants committee came together to make decisions about the current grant cycle applications. One project on their list? The pickleball courts at Baker Park!

Back then, pickleball was a fun, new idea to the area. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it exploded in popularity, becoming America’s fastest-growing sport.

Maddy McGilliard, Henry County Young Life Director and pickleball enthusiast discovered the courts after the initial quarantine. “It was a pleasant surprise,” she said. “Being able to play here has given me and my friends a chance to try something new together!”

Maddy highlighted the positive impact the courts have had: “Pickleball offers an opportunity to be outside, de-stress, and meet ne

w people. It’s connected me with folks I wouldn’t have otherwise met!”

The courts are a center of activity, with players gathering most days of the week. “The atmosphere is welcoming,” stated Maddy. “Newcomers are encouraged to join in!”

The grants committee of 2014 could never have predicted the ongoing use of these courts. They’ve become a place where people of all ages connect, enjoy the outdoors, and even build friendships.

That’s all thanks to generous donors who choose to make a mark through the Choose Henry Flex Fund.

It’s the power of community investment – that keeps on giving, bringing people together, and creating joy for years to come.

The Baker Park courts are just one success story. The Choose Henry Flex Fund has provided grants to countless organizations across Henry County, significantly contributing to the overall well-being of the community. These grants have supported initiatives that promote health and wellness, youth development, and cultural enrichment.

By donating to the Choose Henry Flex Fund, you’re not just making a one-time contribution; you’re investing in a future filled with laughter, connection, and exciting possibilities for everyone. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, year after year, leaving a lasting legacy on Henry County.