Annual Nick Hostler Memorial Pickleball Tournament raises money for inclusive playground

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — More than 100 players from six states came to Springfield on Sept. 26 to play in the third annual Nick Hostler Memorial Pickleball Tournament.

All the money raised in the benefit tournament will go toward Mr. Nick’s Inclusive Playground in honor of the late Springfield teacher Nick Hostler and his work with special education students.

Over the last three years, the pickleball community has helped raise more than $22,000 for the playground.

Mary Kay Hostler is Nick’s mom. She helped organize the tournament.

She says inclusivity for all children was Nick’s passion.

“The cool thing about this playground is that it is on a school playground area but it also butts up to McBride Park,” Mary Kay said. “And so this playground is open to everyone, to everyone in the community. We just don’t have that and this playground has inclusive pieces and is totally accessible. We are going to offer something that Springfield has never seen before.”

The grand opening for Mr. Nick’s Inclusive Playground is set for Oct. 7.

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