News and Views

Huntingtown UMC "dills" with 24-hours of pickleball

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With their first-ever Pickleball marathon, Huntingtown UMC put the “fun” in the fundraiser.

In the 24-hours of uninterrupted Pickleball play, the congregation raised $5,278.33 for missions, reported Marijo Cosmas-Monnett, the church’s Mission Chair. The money will be split between Huntingtown’s three mission partners – with each organization receiving $1,760.

The FUNraiser Marathon took place at the church on Jan. 12-13 – from 5 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sixteen teams, with up to six players per team, played. Each team had 90 minutes of playtime. Overall, 82 people spent time playing on the pickleball court – 26 were from Huntingtown UMC and 56 were friends of the church. 

The marathon was an opportunity to create partnerships within the community, Cosmas-Monnett said. Businesses and artisans in the community donated 92 items (worth $852)that were given out as door prizes. An additional 24 items (with a total retail value of $2346) were contributed to a blind auction. 

In addition, the church raised $2,475 in registration fees and additional funds in T-shirt sales and cash donations.

All of the money will support Huntingtown’s three ministry partners, Cosmas-Monet said. They include:

  • HeartF.E.L.T,  (feeding empty little tummies) a program that provides meals for children on the weekends.  The children we are serving are those that receive free or reduced-rate breakfasts and lunches at the local elementary and middle schools. The church currently serves 54 children weekly throughout the school year.
  • ProjectECHO, an Ecumenical Council for the Homeless, an emergency shelter in Calvert County, which has 16 beds, a transitional housing program, and a shared living program for those who are experiencing homelessness in Calvert County. Huntingtown UMC currently prepares and serves 22 guests one hot meal on the second Friday of each month year-round. And,
  • Shirley’s Place, which comes under the broader umbrella of Everyone Home D.C., located in Ward 6 in Washington, D.C., Shirley’s Place is a drop-in day center that offers people experiencing homelessness a safe and dignified place to spend their day off of the street. Shirley’s Place provides access to showers, laundry, restrooms, mail service, phones, computers, lunch, and social service referrals. The church currently prepares and serves 50-60 guests one hot meal monthly year-round. 

This was the first year the church attempted 24-hours of Pickleball to serve their neighbors. “Those on the planning team were a wealth of talent, passion and commitment,” Cosmas-Monet said. “And it was through their efforts and God’s guidance, we were able to do something we had never done before.”

Church leaders are already thinking about next year’s Pickleball Marathon. Everyone, they say, is invited -- to the thrill of pickleball with a purpose.


Sharon Worthington Feb 12, 2024 6:13pm

Congratulations on such a success! What a well thought out program! Looks like a lot of fun, fellowship and joining people together while raising money for missions!