Playing for a purpose: Marblehead pickleballers plan tournament for good cause

Marcel Quiroga looks forward to playing pickleball twice a week at the Seaside courts and now she’s using her passion for the sport to raise money for a good cause — Girls Inc. of Boston and Lynn. Quiroga, who grew up in Marblehead, and her friends are organizing a large pickleball tournament next month.

“We’re giving people who love pickleball the opportunity to make a difference, too,” Quiroga told the Current.

Playing with a purpose: Organizers of a pickleball tournament are (front row, left to right) Kim Hutchinson, Kate Dinsmore, Val Rice, Karyn Zion and (back row, left to right) Mary Clough, Kim Trudel, Marcel Quiroga, Donna Crotty, Megan Carlton and Janice Walker. Not shown are Kerry Zurn, Liz Blodgett-Smith and Sarah Caliento. COURTESY PHOTO

Quiroga is founder and CEO of TQM Wealth Partners, based in Marblehead, and the business is the lead sponsor of the Win-4-All Pickleball tournament.

“Especially as a woman business leader, it’s meaningful to be able to help the next generation of women leaders, such as those at Girls Inc.,” Quiroga said.

She and her fellow organizers predict about 150 people will play in the tournament on Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Manchester Athletic Club in Mancheter-by-the-Sea. They hope to raise $30,000.

The tournament’s co-chairs are Karen Zion and Kim Trudell of Marblehead. Pickleball pro and U.S. Ambassador for Pickleball in Lynn Sarah Caliento is the tournament’s director.

Deb Ansourlian at Girls Inc. is grateful for the pickleballers’ support.

“At Girls Inc., we inspire girls to be strong, smart, bold. It’s so inspiring that these people are looking to lift up and support the new generation of leaders. The money raised will go toward our leadership programs, literacy programs, STEP (Science Technology Engineering and Math) program and academic support.”  Girls Inc. serves about 1500 girls a year.

The tournament will include women’s doubles and men’s doubles, followed by awards. Before the tournament, on Friday, Sept. 15, Caliento will run a quick clinic on pickleball basics, offer bonus tips for those new to tournament play and competitive warm-up games with prizes for intermediate to advanced players. A cocktail reception will follow.

Quiroga says pickleball is a wonderful sport and she’s not surprised that it has caught on across the country.

“I find it to be a sport that is accessible to everyone in terms of cost, but also to people of all fitness levels, all ages. It’s a very healthy thing to do, obviously for the physical aspect but also for the social aspect.”

Pickleball is especially popular in Marblehead, which has six courts at the Veterans School and six more at Seaside. To learn more about that, contact

To learn more about the tournament and to sign up, click HERE. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor should contact Quiroga at or 617-480-1077.

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Editor Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter.

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