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Big Dill Pickleball Tournament … A Big Deal


The inaugural Big Dill Pickleball Tournament attracted nearly 200 registrations for matches on the new courts at North Little Rock’s Burns Park. Those registrations generated about $20,000 to support the programs and ministry of Divine Mercy Health Center. They have big plans for serving those in need and sponsor support is a pivotal part of the pathway to having a statewide network of Divine Mercy Health Centers bridging health equity gaps around Arkansas, says Dr. Lee Wilbur, the organization’s executive director.

“Putting on a tournament is a big undertaking, and no tournament would be successful without the generous support of sponsors,” Lee explains. “That’s why we were so blessed and honored to have Arvest as the title sponsor of our first event which was also the first to be held on Burns Park’s new pickleball courts.”

One of Divine Mercy Health Center’s main ministries is its Mobile Medical Missions where the group takes healthcare services to churches around Central Arkansas so community members can visit with a physician, receive free lab tests and schedule appointments with their Care Connection team of social workers who then guide patients to valuable social services and resources.

Neal, private banking and mortgage manager for Arvest in Little Rock, points to the bank’s mission statement “People helping people find financial solutions for life,” as the base reason for not only sponsoring the tournament but volunteering with Divine Mercy Health Center. “That’s not just our mission statement, it’s part of our culture, it’s engrained in the DNA of the organization – from the highest-ranking officer to our entry level associates – that we are not just a financial services provider, we’re people who live and work alongside those in the communities we serve to make those communities better.”

Lee says Arvest has committed to three years of being the title sponsor and he’s looking forward to watching the tournament increase in size over the next two years. He expects the competition to remain at Burns Park but doesn’t expect Divine Mercy Health Center to remain the same. “We hope to open a brick-and-mortar clinic in 2024. This first clinic would be a sort of incubator, a proving ground from which a statewide network can grow. We wouldn’t be able to provide the services we do without the support of volunteers and corporate philanthropy from community focused organizations like Arvest.”

Inviting Arkansas

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