Dan Davis: New fund targets pickleball


The Community Foundation of Jackson County recently joined with the town of Brownstown to establish the Brownstown Pickleball Construction Fund.

Its goal is pretty straightforward — to collect gifts toward building pickleball courts at the town park near the Brownstown Central High School campus.

On a recent Monday evening, the Brownstown Town Council signed off on a fund agreement, acting as what the foundation calls a fiscal agent or sponsor for the Brownstown Pickleball Association, a group of Brownstown residents who really seem to love the game of pickleball.

Led by Nancy and Dennis Sterling of Brownstown, no strangers to the foundation as they have established two funds here, the Brownstown Pickleball Association is a 10-member group that plans to build four pickleball courts on a piece of land recently added to the park at 905 W. Bridge St. Mike Tormoehlen donated the ground to the town in 2022.

The association, Nancy said, has developed a five-year plan for constructing four pickleball courts, a restroom and a shelter house at the park.

For the uninitiated (like me, I must admit), pickleball is a paddleball sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis and tennis. Two or four players use solid paddles to hit a ball, much like a Wiffle ball, over a net.

How can you help? That’s simple. And easy. Checks and cash donations can be written to the Community Foundation of Jackson County in support of the Brownstown Pickleball Construction Fund and dropped off or mailed to the foundation. You might write “Brownstown pickleball” in the memo line of your check.

This new fund is quite similar to the fund created several years ago that helped raise money to build the new county dog shelter in Brownstown. In that case, the Jackson County Commissioners signed on as the fiscal sponsor for a grassroots group of local residents and established the Jackson County Canine Shelter Fund.

Response to the shelter fund was astounding, as gifts large, small and in between came into the foundation, all adding up to a huge impact on the community. The foundation and the Brownstown Pickleball Association hope to see a similar, wide, grassroots support for the construction of pickleball courts, too.

As gifts to the new fund come in once construction starts, the foundation will pay out recommended grants following a procedure that includes both the town council and the pickleball association. The foundation will then pay grants to the town so that construction bills can be paid.

The cost of building four pickleball courts is estimated at $120,000. That is the first step in the association’s plans. Adding a restroom facility and shelter house for the pickleball courts would be next.

Dennis said a pickleball court is 20-by-44 feet, and four would fit inside a regular tennis court footprint.

Nancy said local pickleballers have been playing at night at the high school tennis courts, and during the winter after basketball, they have been playing at the middle school.

The Brownstown Pickleball Association is asking for your help through your financial support of this project, and the group also plans to seek grants to help with the construction costs.

During and after construction, the association plans to hold tournaments twice a year and provide up to 20 hours of clinics and use the fees from those activities for any maintenance, upkeep and repairs on the venue, Nancy said.

Interest in pickleball is growing. Seymour presently has two courts at Gaiser Park and is in the process of adding two more. Bedford has six pickleball courts, nearby Salem has two and there are eight courts in Daviess County.

“So small communities are making this happen to get people off the couch and out into the fresh air doing more,” Nancy said.

Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The foundation administers more than 200 funds with assets of more than $16 million. For information about how you can make a donation to any of the funds administered by the foundation or how you might start a new fund, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to Dan Davis at [email protected].


The Brownstown Pickleball Association has launched a Facebook page, where residents can follow its progress. Find it here: Facebook.com/profile.php?id=61552214077696.

To make a donation to the Brownstown Pickleball Construction Fund, checks may be written to the Community Foundation of Jackson County with Brownstown Pickleball in the memo line and mailed to the foundation at P.O. Box 1231, Seymour, IN 47274, or dropped off at the office, 107 Community Drive, Seymour. Online gifts may be made online at cfjacksoncounty.org. Click on the “Donate Now” button.

For information, call foundation President and CEO Dan Davis at 812-523-4483.

No posts to display