BY KATHY PICKENS
The Greenville Standard
There was quite a crowd at the Greenville YMCA courts on Saturday, Feb. 18, as people from all over the state, one participant from Mississippi, and several Greenville residents participated in The Chilly Pickle —a pickleball tournament hosted by Elizabeth and Warren Matthews to benefit Embrace Alabama Kids.
Embrace Alabama Kids is the modern name of the wide-ranging family mission program of the United Methodist Church which was founded in 1890, was once known as the Methodist Children’s Home, and continues to grow and change to minister to families.
Their goal is to provide programs which promote safety and stability for families including services in the areas of family preservation, foster care, school readiness, parenting support, and residential programs for teenagers and young adults.
A total of 50 participants spread over five brackets participated in the tournament on a truly chilly Saturday morning.
Mayor Dexter McLendon was on hand to open the event and welcome visitors to Greenville along with Camellia Girls Claire Campbell and Eden Skipper.
Current residents and natives of the Greenville area who participated included Andy Coleman (gold medal), Jennie Hamilton (bronze medal), Angela James, Christy Corbett Lux, Beverly and Jason Mullins (gold medals), Lucy McGowin, Michelle Myrick (silver medal), Lynn Dunklin Neilson(silver medal), True McGowin Nicolson, Leander and Kathy Pickens, Michele Thigpen, Anne Matthews (silver medal), and Elizabeth and Warren Matthews (silver medals).
Warren Matthews, who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Embrace Alabama Kids, said of the event, “Elizabeth and I are so appreciative of the local support we received for the tournament. The City has made the tennis complex a dual-use facility that allowed us to host a large field (primarily folks who had never been to Greenville except to eat and buy gas). Thanks also to Mayor McLendon, Tracy Salter at the Chamber, and Jerome Harris from Parks and Recreation for their assistance and support. We hope to make this an annual event.”
If you would like to support this worthy cause, please visit their website embraceallkids.org.