EAST LANSING, Mich. — East Lansing Parks, Recreation and Arts (ELPRA) supporter Gary Beaudoin will be honored with a Michigan Recreation & Park Association (MRPA) Community Service Award tomorrow, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center (ELHCC), 819 Abbot Road.
Beaudoin began his years of community service in the East Lansing community in 2010 as a member of the Active Living for Adults Program Board and was appointed to the East Lansing Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission in 2011. Most recently, Beaudoin’s leadership and organization resulted in the development of a vibrant and successful pickleball program in East Lansing.
Pickleball is a relatively new, but fast-growing racquet sport developed in the mid-1960’s. The sport combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis and is popular among adults seeking to stay active. It is an easy sport to learn and is relatively inexpensive, making it the perfect multi-generational or family sport.
In 2014, Beaudoin expressed interest in initiating a pickleball program in the East Lansing community. By November, he had assembled a small group of residents who began playing pickleball two times a week at ELHCC. Over the past two years, the group has grown to approximately 130 people who play Monday through Friday, promote the sport through classes and outreach and raise funds to help finance the capital improvements necessary for the program.
“Gary is a steadfast supporter of public parks and recreation and is willing to invest his personal time and energy to promote life-enhancing programs and services right here in East Lansing,” said ELPRA Director Tim McCaffrey.