The Hamilton Eye Institute Lions Club at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is hosting a pickleball tournament to raise money for its local and international outreach.
The Lions Club is collaborating with the UTHSC Pickleball Club to put on the mixed doubles tournament Saturday, October 28, starting at 9 a.m., at the UTHSC tennis courts located at Doctor M.L.K. Jr. Avenue and East Street.
“Pickleball has become really popular among people here at UTHSC and throughout the community,” said Catherine Quiñones, MD, an ophthalmology resident at UTHSC and organizer of the tournament. “It’s really fun because it’s social, it’s something that you can play with others, so it’s a great way to raise money for our cause.”
The Hamilton Eye Institute Lions Club is a not-for-profit organization that serves to provide eye care for the underserved. Its local outreach includes the institute’s Cataract-A-Thon, an annual event that provides free cataract surgeries to individuals who are otherwise unable to afford the surgery. The club also organizes two yearly trips to a clinic in Guatemala, where volunteers provide free eye surgeries to children.
“Our global outreach program is really important because there’s been such a great increase in need,” Dr. Quiñones said. “I was able to participate in planning our first mission to Guatemala after COVID, when I was a UTHSC medical student, and being a part of that and participating in the mission was really impactful.”
The pickleball tournament is open to all adults in the community, with a discounted entry fee for UTHSC students. Those who do not have a partner must request one prior to registering.
The tournament is separated into two brackets, one for beginners and one for experienced players. All teams are guaranteed to play at least two games, and all players will be given a free hat. A grand prize will be given to the winners of each bracket, and additional prizes will be given to the second- and third-place teams. Additionally, the tournament will include a costume contest with a special prize for the team with the best costume.