Annie and Jim Kloss were basking in the glow of their new marriage five years ago when Annie was suddenly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The couple were both avid pickleball players who held their wedding ceremony on a pickleball court.
Their first MS Charity Pickleball Tournament was in 2019 in Surprise, under the leadership of Marlene Ciupak-Berwald, president of the Surprise Pickleball Association.
This year’s tournament from March 17 to 19 attracted a field of 363 pickleball players from across the Valley, raising record donations of more than $15,000 for the local MS Society, through a three-day raffle, online donations and player entry fee proceeds.
“The pickleball community opened their hearts and wallets to support the critical research and services for the local MS community,” tournament founder Jim Kloss said. “Annie and I are grateful to the Surprise Pickleball Association for overseeing the tournament, and everyone that volunteered and contributed to make this pickleball tournament the largest DIY fundraising event for MS in Arizona during 2023.”
MS Society AZ President Chris Marshall said, “The multiple sclerosis community in Arizona continues to amaze, and this is just another example. The society’s DIY fundraising platform allows people to expand beyond signature events and create events that rally the community around activities that are close to their heart.”
“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love,” Annie Kloss said. “This year, we added a Tribute Wall to celebrate the individuals near and dear to our participants that are affected by MS. I am honored to be surrounded by friends, family and organizations that lined up to support research and programming for MS here in Arizona.”