For most of our now 475+ members (up 60% from 2020), showing our solidarity with the local pickleball community is more than enough to justify a $15 annual membership in the Summit County Pickleball Association. It’s an act of community spirit that buoys the whole volunteer operation.
For those who see club membership as more of a consumer transaction (“What am I getting for $15 when I can show up and play for free?”), we try to offer tangible members-only benefits:
• The newsletter;
• GroupMe texting for realtime coordination of play;
• Password-protected member directory; and
• Members-only mix-it-up play and social events.
Either way, pickleball in Summit County runs on your membership donations to the club.
Here’s What We Do with Your $15 Annual Dues:
- The first $721 of dues (using up 48 of our $15 memberships) pays for the club’s liability insurance, which the towns require as a condition of organizing activities on their courts.
- The next $500 to $600 (using up 33 to 40 memberships) goes to technology products that power our website, newsletter, accounting and event sign-ups.
- We spend $300 to $500 a year restocking balls at drop-in venues. (That’s another 20-33 sets of member dues gone.)
- Credit card processing costs us $300+ annually (using up 20 memberships).
- This year, $680 went to paddle stacking systems at Rainbow and Carter Parks (an amount equivalent to 45 sets of dues).
- We use dues for working capital to buy T-shirts in large orders, selling them just slightly above cost.
We save all surplus dues, after the above and other expenses, for the day that a town or ski resort will collaborate with us to build dedicated pickleball courts in Summit County. Given the scarcity of land and the very high cost of installing and maintaining courts at 8,000 to 9,000 feet (nothing lasts here), dedicated courts will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We’ll need a serious capital campaign, but we have $14,000 in club savings to get things rolling whenever a local government finally wants to work with us.
In the meantime, the club’s savings allows us to offer to pay for equipment or visible pickleball lines on public courts, if that’s a faster means to more pickleball capacity.
And, finally, showing the towns how many club members we have — perhaps the most of any dues-taking club in Summit County — is one of our best ways to demonstrate the need for more court capacity.
All this is to say, please donate your $15/year, feel great about it, and encourage others to kick in too.