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Fundraising pickleball tournament is April 1-2


The fourth annual Aaron Gifford Pickleball Benefit tournament will be Saturday and Sunday, April 1-2, in Las Cruces.

Anyone interested in playing in the tournament can register at Pickleballbrackets.com.

Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Mesilla Valley Community of Hope (MVCH) veterans program and Mission 22, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending veteran suicides.

Aaron Gifford, for whom the tournament is named, lost his long personal battle with PTSD in January 2018, after returning from his service with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry in the first U.S. invasion of Iraq following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“My husband, Ken, and I introduced pickleball to Aaron and his twin sister, Kiley,” said Aaron’s mother, CeCe Hunter, president of the Aaron Gifford Pickleball Benefit nonprofit. “Aaron grew to love playing pickleball in tournaments throughout New Mexico where he won many medals.

In selecting MVCH to receive some of the tournament’s proceeds, Hunter said it costs about $3,000 to get a veteran off the street and into a home. Our committee is hoping that through generous donations we will be able to help these homeless veterans get their own home.”

Tournament sponsorships are platinum ($500 and above), gold ($350-$499), silver ($200-$349) and bronze ($100-$199).

Donations and items for raffles are also being accepted.

Send a donation or sponsorship check to The Aaron Gifford Benefit, 1200 Sonnet Court, Las Cruces, NM 88007.

For sponsorships, call 575-640-8725 and email kathyritt1@mac.com. For more information, contact CeCe Hunter at 575-640-8725 and cecehunter@gmail.com.