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Making a Difference: PW students' pickleball tournament raises $1,500 for Meals on Wheels

Making a Difference: PW students' pickleball tournament raises $1,500 for Meals on Wheels

Plymouth Whitemarsh High School’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme students hosted an intergenerational pickleball tournament that was fun for the community and also generated $1,500 for Meals on Wheels.

The "Pickles for the People" tournament was held at Colonial Elementary School in February, and was the end result of many months of planning by the IB Class of 2025 cohort. This group of students worked together to select the project from a variety of proposals, and then divided up into three committees to carry out the work of organizing the tournament. The committees included Marketing, Finance, and Logistics. 

“Throughout these committees, we scheduled and promoted the tournament, acquired sponsorships, determined pricing for playing in/spectating the tournament and for the bake sale and raffle prizes, and more,” said Jonah Reid, the event’s marketing manager. 

The Feb. 9th event ended up drawing out 64 competitors who teamed up to play two-on-two. Many people also attended just to watch, contributing to a festive spirit with cheering and happy faces. Plymouth Whitemarsh High School eleventh-graders Colum Dougherty and James Fassbender won the tournament, which ran smoothly thanks to a well-managed bracket. 

“It was a great bonding experience, among our cohort but also for the community as well,” said Jonah. “We completed our goal of hosting a successful, intergenerational pickleball tournament.”

Certainly organizing an event of this size wasn’t without some hiccups. Jonah noted that it was quite a task to get everything set up, and that because students had multiple responsibilities, they weren’t always where they needed to be at certain times during the event. However, these challenges served as learning experiences as the high school students had to make real-time, effective decisions and try to stay on task.

“As a cohort, we developed our real-life communication, technical, and organizational skills as we figured out how to build a community service project from the ground up,” said Jonah. “This was an experience that was new to all of us.”

Students entering grades 11 or 12 may apply to join the IB Career-Related Programme, which offers academic study and practical hands-on experiences. The three components of the IBCP are career-related study, academic study, and programme core (which includes service learning). To learn more about IBCP, click here.

Students pose for a picture at the pickleball tournament
Student organizers give a thumbs up
Student organizers pose at the raffle table
Players get ready to start a pickleball game in the gym
Colum Dougherty and James Fassbender pose for a picture
A student gets ready to serve during a pickleball game
The IB Class of 2025 Cohort poses for a picture at the tournament