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Eric Dale Memorial Pickleball Tournament a huge success

(L-r) Kyle Veenstra, Michael Luke, Larry Belinsky, and Craig Belinsky at the tournament.
(L-r) Kyle Veenstra, Michael Luke, Larry Belinsky, and Craig Belinsky at the tournament.
(Courtesy)

On Sunday, Dec. 19, approximately 75 individuals paid their respects to Rancho Santa Fe resident and friend Eric Dale, who passed away suddenly in late September. The event was held at the Community Clubhouse of Fairbanks Ranch. Not only was the tournament a tribute to Dale but also a benefit to one of his favorite charities, Seeds of Hope, founded by Encinitas resident Melissa Drake.

According to Drake, Seeds of Hope instills values and provides opportunities to low income children and their families. About a dozen Nigerian immigrants, ranging in age from 7 to 15 from the City Heights area of San Diego, were brought to the venue and were treated to a pickleball clinic. Pablo Healing not only staged the clinic but served as director for the multi-division pickleball tournament as well.

Diane Dale, Eric’s widow, was present and promoted her loving spirit and gratitude to all those who came to honor “the love of her life” for 27 years. “I am heartbroken but extremely blessed to have been loved so well by the most wonderful man I knew,” she shared.

James Blake, former ATP Top 5 in the world tennis player, made a surprise appearance and teamed up with Diane for a Mixed Doubles Pickleball exhibition to the delight of the crowd in attendance.

The advanced division of the tournament was extremely competitive with brothers Larry and Craig Belinsky winning the title over local residents Kyle Veenstra and Michael Luke in a hard-fought final.


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