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What is the Dink for a Cause holiday pickleball tournament?

November 9th, 2022 | 3 min. read

By Jen Azevedo

Are you a pickleball enthusiast that loves to support the community of the Santa Clarita Valley?

This Saturday, Dink For Cause and the Paseo Club are teaming up for a one-day event to raise money for 11 families in Santa Clarita for the holiday season. 
Santa Clarita-based Dink For Cause is a non-profit organization that strives to raise funds for local charities by hosting pickleball events and tournaments, bringing communities together to support others in need.


In this article, we will share with you the story behind Dink For Cause, what is happening at the holiday pickleball tournament on Saturday, and how you can get involved in this important charity event. 


What is Dink For Cause?

Dink For Cause is a non-profit organization founded by Monica Hicks and her amazing pickleball partner, Mitra Sushinsky. 


Monica’s inspiration for creating Dink For Cause was catalyzed in 2017 when her husband, and father to their three children, became ill with AML, an aggressive form of leukemia. 


Leo, Monica’s husband, required a stem cell or bone marrow transplant in order to have any hope for remission. Unfortunately, it was a struggle to find a bone marrow match. Finally, through Be the Match, he received a bone marrow transplant.


Though the transplant did not cure his cancer, it bought their family one more wedding anniversary, five birthdays, and many weeks of precious, irreplaceable time together.


Leo was so grateful for receiving the transplant he wanted to pay it forward to others. In honor of Leo, Monica began to conceive a way to fulfill his goal.


Luckily for Monica, she met a formidable opponent, Mitra when learning to play pickleball at the Paseo Club. Together they became dear friends and co-collaborators in Dink For Cause, pairing their love of pickleball with a desire to help meet the needs of the Santa Clarita community.


Their first meeting happened over breakfast at Eggs n’ Things with just a pen and a napkin to write out their vision of Dink for a Cause. 


What is happening at the Dink For Cause pickleball tournament?

This Saturday, November 12, 2022, the Paseo Club is hosting Dink For Cause for a day-long pickleball tournament. Here is what you should know about the day:

  • The tournament is from 8 am-5 pm.
  • There are men's and women’s doubles, but no mixed teams exist.
  • There are up to 10 teams that can compete in each tier and for each gender.
  • Three tiers are playing: 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0.
    • 3.5 begins at 8 am 
    • 4.0 begins at 11 am
    • 3.0 begins  at 2 pm


Who is the fundraiser for?

Monica and Mitra’s goal with Dink For Cause is to raise money for local charities and worthy causes. 


This weekend their charity event is for 11 special families in Santa Clarita. These families are based in Santa Clarita and have children who attend Title 1 schools where 60-70% of the student population is in poverty.


These 11 families face financial struggles, housing insecurity, food insecurity, and a host of other obstacles and potential barriers to health, mental well-being, and educational and career success. 


Dink For Cause hopes to raise between $6,000-$7,000 for this charity event. All proceeds will go to the 11 families to help purchase holiday items on their “wish lists.” These gifts include clothing, toys, games, art supplies, books, and more. 


How can you support Dink For Cause’s holiday fundraiser?

There are four primary ways to get involved in this charity event. 


1. Pickleball tournament: If you are a pickleball player, you can register to compete with your pickleball partner as a team. Registration is still open! 


Registration is $100 per team, with the money going directly to purchasing gifts for the selected recipient families. 


2. Christmas tree ornaments: Dink For Cause will be putting up a majestic Christmas tree on the pickleball porch at Paseo Club. The tree will be covered with pickleball Christmas ornaments. 


These ornaments will be for sale as part of the fundraiser. Each ornament will list a dollar amount and a corresponding item that will be purchased for a family member with the money. 


3. Raffle Tickets: When you purchase a Christmas tree ornament, you will receive a certain amount of raffle tickets, depending on the cost of the ornament. The raffle is a way for Dink For Cause to say “thank you” to supporters.


Raffle prizes include:

 • A yoga kit
 • Pickleball paddles
 • Tickets to the San Diego Zoo
 • Wine and champagne baskets
 • Tickets to the Ronald Reagan Museum
 • Greatest Results package - Paseo Club’s premier comprehensive fitness program

4. Donate: You are always welcome to make a donation to the families via Dink for a Cause at the tournament or on their website.


What else is happening on tournament day?

Dink For Cause holiday pickleball tournament is a day for the community to play pickleball, cheer one another on, and get an ornament for your Christmas tree at home.  


Music will play on the porch, and the porch bar and grill will serve up food and drinks.  


You can also look for Plate Therapy which will have a table offering samples of their delicious food. Learn about the  Holiday Hustle in December and how to sign up to receive meals from them.


Saturday is supposed to be sunny and a gorgeous 67 degrees. So join the Paseo Club and Dink For Cause for a charity event worth remembering.


If you are not yet a member of the Paseo Club but think that joining a club that values health, fitness, and community is your kind of place, then schedule a tour today

Schedule a Tour

You can check out our 8-acre facility with indoor and outdoor gyms, tennis and pickleball courts, and a junior-Olympic pool that is open year-round. 


Learn more about the Paseo Club by reading these three articles.

Jen Azevedo

Jen Azevedo is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!