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Lauren Wilson, 17-year-old lifetime Big Canoe resident, organized the pickleball tournament fundraiser that included food and a variety of auction items. PHOTO BY GAY ABBOTT

Pickleball tournament raises money for GBM cancer victims

BY WAYNE TIDWELL

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Lauren Wilson, 17-year-old daughter of Martin and Beverly Wilson, 22-year residents of Big Canoe, sponsored a pickleball tournament fundraiser Saturday at the Big Canoe racquet facility to raise money for Can’t Never Could, a non-profit that serves cancer victims.

Wilson, a life-long resident of Big Canoe, attends the Laurel Springs Virtual Academy and will attend Sewanee: The University of the South, in Sewanee, Tenn. She is a member of the National Honor Society and she organized the pickleball tournament as her senior project, hoping to raise several thousand dollars for the cancer cause.

Twenty players joined the tournament and many more came to watch, enjoy the good food and bid on a variety of auction items that Wilson had solicited from businesses and individuals.

Can’t Never Could is a local non-profit created to serve those suffering from cancer or facing adversity in other forms according to the organization’s website. Rob and Christi Estes founded Can’t Never Could after Rob was diagnosed with grade IV GBM (glioblastoma), an incurable form of brain cancer, in 2013. Wilson’s grandfather had also suffered from GBM.

Lauren is an avid tennis player and plays in tournaments all over the country as a ranked player. She has also shown an entrepreneurial spirit and those who travel in Wildcat Neighborhood may have seen Wilson selling lemonade at the intersection of Wildcat Parkway and Bear Creek Drive.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, jalapeño poppers and sides were served to the crowds of people who came to enjoy the tournament and check out the auction items.

Wilson has raised $6,200 so far.

“I am so proud of my daughter,” Mother Beverly said in a Facebook post. “Many of our friends have been affected by cancer and I am so proud that she will make a difference for people affected by cancer.”

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Pickleball players at Saturday’s tournament to raise money for cancer victims. PHOTO BY GAY ABBOTT

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