Pickleball players wear pink for Vera Bradley Classic

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Parkview Fieldhouse was filled today with pink-clad Pickleball players.

The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Classic (the “Classic”) held a fundraiser this weekend with sporting events including the Mixed Doubles and Women’s Doubles Pink Pickleball Tournament on Friday and Saturday, as well as the 9-Hole and 18-Hole Women’s Golf Tournaments on Monday.

The Classics Celebration Dinner, scheduled for Monday, has been canceled due to gathering size limitations and the inability to practice proper social distancing in the event venue, the organization said.

The Classic’s Silent Auction, which was planned to take place in person during the Classic Celebration Dinner, will now be hosted online and will be available to all sponsors, volunteers and all event participants. Auction details will be shared via email in mid-September.

“The health and safety of our Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Classic participants, sponsors, volunteers and our community remain our top priority. Given the current COVID-19 situation in our area, we feel it is prudent to act with caution and proactively modify our Classic schedule of events to minimize risk and protect our stakeholders,” said Lynda Houk, Executive Director for the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. “Even during these uncertain times, the commitment to our organization and to raising funds for breast cancer research has been inspiring and incredibly gratifying. While our Classic events will not proceed as we had originally planned, we have some surprises up our sleeve to ensure everyone involved enjoys a fun, memorable and safe experience!”

The organization said enhanced safety measures, including a masking and social distancing policy, were in place to minimize risk of exposure for everyone involved.

Historically, the Foundation’s Classic events have been held annually during the first weekend of June. Amid continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, in January the Foundation made the decision to host this year’s Classic in September.

Funds raised from the Classic support research being conducted at the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, which is part of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center (the “IU Cancer Center”). The IU Cancer Center is designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, the highest level of recognition awarded by the National Cancer Institute for research excellence.

To date, the Foundation has contributed $36 million to the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for
Breast Cancer Research. Despite the cancellation of its 2020 in-person fundraising events due
to COVID-19, the Foundation raised $1.4 million for breast cancer research last year.

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