One of John Wayne’s most famous sayings was, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” Now his fans can Saddle Up – or, more accurately, Paddle Up, to raise funds for the cancer foundation that bears his name.

Pickleball, a mash-up of tennis, ping-pong and badminton, is America’s fastest-growing sport. Playing off the game’s popularity, the John Wayne Cancer Foundation will present the Paddle Up pickleball tournament in Newport Beach, California, this April to raise funds for the fight against cancer. Investors Philanthropic, a donor-advised fund, will host the event.

“Pickleball is a fun and engaging way for us to raise funds for the all-important fight against cancer,” said Ethan Wayne, Director of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

There are three ways to participate:

       1. Attend the kickoff party from 5-9 p.m. Friday, April 14 at The Tennis & Pickleball Club in Newport Beach. The $50 ticket gives you access to DJ music, a taco bar, drinks and a silent auction.

       2. Play in the pickleball tournament from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 15. Registration is $175 and there are divisions for beginners and experienced players. No experience necessary!

       3. Socialize and spectate at the tournament. A $50 ticket lets you watch all the action, plus have access to DJ music, sliders, fries and drinks.

Registration for all three is open HERE.

“The Tennis and Pickleball Club of Newport Beach has become my second home recently as I have become addicted to pickleball,” Marisa Wayne said. “We’re so excited to be able to host this fundraiser at these exceptional facilities which my parents used to frequent and in this community which my dad so cherished.”

John Wayne believed in searching for a cure for cancer. A survivor of lung cancer who ultimately succumbed to stomach cancer in 1979, the Duke was adamant about helping all people fight cancer. If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer and want to fight back or just love to play pickleball with great people, consider participating in the Paddle Up.