Now You Know: Marco Police Foundation to host 'Pickleball Slammer'

Will Watts

The Marco Island Police Foundation will host its inaugural Pickleball tournament at the YMCA of South Collier (Marco Island) on Saturday, Jan. 21 and Sunday, Jan. 22.

Dubbed the Pickleball Slammer, up to 200 participants are expected to show their skills in the categories of men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles through round robin matches leading to single elimination.

Matches will be based on age and skill.

“Pickleball is being played by people of all ages and skills,” said Police Foundation President Vernon Geberth. “That’s why we are thrilled to host this tournament so players of all levels from Marco Island and the surrounding area can test their abilities.”

YMCA of South Collier celebrated the opening of nine pickleball courts on Marco Island on Jan. 22, 2021.

The Police Foundation also announced it is partnering with Southwest Florida’s Paradise PB to handle the tournament logistics and ensure a flawless event.

“We are so proud to be partnering with the Police Foundation to showcase one of Southwest Florida’s fastest growing sports with this first-class event,” said Paradise PB Managing Partner Ryan Reader and winner of the 2021 Pickleball US Open. “And what better cause than to pick up a ball and racket to support our community’s police officers and their families.”

Reader indicated that men’s and women’s doubles matches will be Saturday, while mixed doubles matches will be played on Sunday.

Would be players can register their teams at and search ‘pickleball slammer’ under the tournaments tab. The tournament flyer can be found at

Tournament questions can be directed to Ryan Reader at 239-823-6085 or Those interested in supporting the Police Foundation by being an event sponsor can contact Michael Hook at or Bill Young at

The Marco Island Police Foundation is a community-based, nonpolitical, civic-minded, charitable organization that works closely with the Marco Island Police Department in encouraging and promoting citizen participation in maintaining community safety.

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Did you know?

Over  $4.4 billion in federal grants, disaster loans and flood insurance payments have been made available to the state of Florida and households impacted by Hurricane Ian.

FEMA has provided $847 million to households and $496 million to the state for emergency response.

The National Flood Insurance Program has paid $1.72 billion in claims and the Small Business Administration has given out $1.35 billion in disaster loans. 

Florida crops rebound

Florida agriculture, already battered by Ian and Nicole, appears to have escaped widespread damage from the coldest Christmas in years, officials with state growers’ associations say.

Cloud cover is cited with helping protect citrus trees in areas where the thermometer hovered around or below freezing, though there may be pockets of damage, one org announced.

Florida’s fruit and vegetable growers also reported no widespread damage to crops, though growers are still assessing the cold weather’s impact.

Citrus is a sub-tropical tree and actually benefits from cool weather to sweeten the fruit and can survive frost and light freezes.

Parts of the Florida Panhandle had wind chills that dipped into the single digits, and interior parts of central Florida had temperatures plunging as low as 27 degrees.

Florida is the primary supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables for the rest of the country during the winter, and growers harvested as much of their crops as possible ahead of the Arctic blast.

Citrus is big business in the state, with more than 375,000 acres in the state devoted to oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and the like for an industry valued at more than $6 billion annually.

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