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Pickleball committee making final push for funding

The Detroit Lakes Pickleball is seeking a few more donations to reach their goal of $200,000 raised to begin construction on courts in the area this spring. File photo

The Detroit Lakes Pickleball Project committee is making a final push to reach fundraising goals and begin construction of 10 pickleball courts around town.

The city council gave the go-ahead for the committee to privately fund a campaign to raise monies by March 1 and has extended the deadline to allow the committee to try to meet the goal of $200,000.

“Currently we have over $150,000 in pledges and over $40,000 in cash,” Detroit Lakes Pickleball Committee member Mitch Wimmer said.

The Committee has also offered naming rights to individual courts. The option of having a sponsored court are available for any individual or company giving $20,000 or more.  

Currently, four 4 courts are already named.

Six courts are scheduled for construction at People’s Park this summer.

Four courts are on the proposed long-range plan to develop two new parks, one north of highway 34 and one south of the lake. In addition to the six pickleball courts in People’s Park, committee plans are for two more at each of the other two parks if/when they are constructed.

The $200,000 raised will cover the basic costs, although total costs with lighting and seating areas could be more.

There is currently an outdoor five-court set-up at the hockey rink at People’s Park, but drainage and surface area have been a challenge.

During the winter months, players currently play Monday through Friday from 8:30-11 a.m. at the Community Center’s four indoor courts.

In Detroit Lakes, there are 150 couples or individuals on the group’s email list who are either playing or interested in the game. Many go south for the winter and play there also.

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and has garnered coverage nationwide on the rapid expanse of the game.

Construction is projected to start in People’s Park this spring and be completed by the end of summer.

The city will own and maintain the courts. The committee is planning to establish a fund out of dollars raised so the city will have funds to resurface and maintain them.

Architectural drawings and plans are established and the engineering work is being completed with bids for the project being explored.

To contribute to the Detroit Lakes Pickleball court fund:

1) Write a check to the City of Detroit Lakes, referencing Pickleball in the memo line, send it to: Pam Slifka, Finance Officer, City of Detroit Lakes, 1025 Roosevelt Ave., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501;

2) Donate online with a credit card or by electronic check. Click “Online Payments” in the ribbon at the bottom of the City’s Home Page at or type into your browser's address bar. Once on the Online Payments page click on “Donations” under “Select the payment you would like to make….” to access the online payment form.

Enter your name, address, email address, key Pickleball in the “Donation for….” field.

Donations are tax deductible.

Interested parties may also contact one of the members of the Detroit Lakes Pickleball Committee for more information: Gary Thompson, chair, Tom Dutcher, Jerry Enget, Ginny Imholte, Jo Johnson, Jeff Johnson, Lee Swanson, George Van Dam, Dave Welte, and Mitch Wimmer.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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