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Charity pickleball tournament donates $24,161 to MS

Nearly 400 players, sponsors rally for cause March 15-17

Posted 5/18/24

Jim and Annie Kloss are a prime example of a Paradise Valley couple that lives a pickleball lifestyle.

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pickleball

Charity pickleball tournament donates $24,161 to MS

Nearly 400 players, sponsors rally for cause March 15-17

Posted

Jim and Annie Kloss are a prime example of a Paradise Valley couple that lives a pickleball lifestyle.

They were married on a pickleball court, and they moved to a new home because it had space to build two pickleball courts.

But that lifestyle was abruptly interrupted by Annie’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 2018.

Taking the cause to heart, Jim responded by establishing a tournament to raise funds to support his wife, and the estimated 20,000 people affected by MS in Arizona, according to a news release.

Their sixth annual MS charity tournament was held in in Surprise over St. Patrick’s Day weekend with Judith Coronel, Surprise Pickleball Association president, which donated $24,161 to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information between the brain and body.

“There are now over 25 MS medications/treatments available or in development,” Annie Kloss said in the release. “But no two MS patients are alike. We may share symptoms, but to varying degrees, So far, I’m one of the lucky ones — my symptoms are manageable. The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love. I am honored to be surrounded by friends, family and organizations that lined up to support research and programming for individuals affected by MS here in Arizona.”

This year’s field attracted a record number of players, volunteers, donors and sponsors.

According to AZ-NM Chapter President Chris Marshall, “It was amazing to see a record crowd participate in 2024 and raise the most funds this event has generated in a single year. These funds will help us continue to provide more awareness, programs, services, education, health care engagement, advocacy and world-class research that is getting us closer to a cure.”

“The pickleball community opened their hearts and wallets to support MS,” tournament founder Jim Kloss said. “Annie and I are grateful to AZ Ortho for taking the lead as our title sponsor, the Surprise Pickleball Association for overseeing the tournament, with gratitude to CRUSH Pickleball, pros Riley and Lindsay Newman, the Arizona Diamondbacks, The Estate Watch & Jewelry Company and a host of companies who made this effort the largest DIY fundraiser in Arizona for MS this year.”