The mission of Choosing Integrity, a not-for profit organization in Pike County, is to improve the quality of life of “justice-involved” people, according to Executive Director Luke Barbalich. As Sharon Daniel, a recent volunteer to this organization puts it, “They do this through education and prevention programming, mentorship, treatment services, advocacy, and compassion resulting in enhanced relational skills and successful reintegration within the community.”
They say that this program fosters a reduction in recidivism and less stigmatism.
Their first fundraiser was held on August 6 at the courts in Airport Park. It was a Pickleball tournament, and it was so successful, the group decided to make it their first annual Pickleball Fundraiser. Luke Barbalich, the executive director of Choosing Integrity, was the motivating force behind the fundraiser. There were 36 players in this doubles game, 18 teams of two each, and with the help of Scott Vinson, head of the Pike Pickleball Club, people were reminded of the tournament rules.
Actually there are 271 members of this club, and they welcome new members year round. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America with 4.8 million people playing it.
Barbalich said the tournament raised about $1,000 and he wants to thank the sponsors: The Waterwheel Café, Better World Coffee, The Dimmick Inn, Prime Time Meats, Key Foods, Golden Hammer Tattoo, and Biondo Investment Advisors. The winners of the tournament were Scott and Craig Onofry, and it looks like they inspired more people to join the Pike Pickleball Club.
They do this through education and prevention programming, mentorship, treatment services, advocacy, and compassion resulting in enhanced relational skills and successful reintegration within the community. - Volunteer Sharon Daniel