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Inaugural Evangel Valor Pickleball Tournament raises over $35,000 from 183 participants

Published on Apr 15, 2024 by Erin Hedlun

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Evangel University recently hosted its first annual Evangel Valor Pickleball Tournament, title-sponsored by local commercial HVAC company Gold Mechanical. The event included 183 participants from across the United States and raised over $35,000 toward a $10 million matching challenge to complete construction on EU’s new Valor Center athletic complex.

The tournament was held in Evangel’s Ashcroft Center and Mabee Fitness Center and was managed by Valor student-athletes and coaches. Ozarks Pickleball Club, a local enthusiast organization, provided software to assist with registration and helped promote the event.

“The first annual Evangel Valor Pickleball Tournament was a tremendous success!” said Destiny Duron Deas, Evangel’s vice president for university advancement. “We are so thankful for everyone who competed and helped us raise over $35,000 toward our matching challenge.”

Participants traveled from as far as California, Minnesota, and Florida to compete. Evangel awarded 60 medals to bracket winners and provided each competitor with a swag bag, tournament t-shirt, and catered meal.

In addition to title sponsor Gold Mechanical, event sponsors included The Warrior’s Journey, Assemblies of God Credit Union, Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective, Auxon Capital, Star Wholesale, Eastway Storage, Reed’s Plumbing & Excavating, Central Bank, Queen City Roofing, Southern Missouri Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God, Evangel Temple, Largent Printing, Collegiate Awards, BJ’s Trophy Shop, and Assemblies of God Chaplaincy Ministries.

Construction on the Valor Center is slated for completion this summer. The 70,000 square-foot athletics hub will house the university’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams, athletics’ administrative and coaching offices, and a state-of-the-art varsity weight room and sports medicine hub. Beyond its athletics capabilities, the Valor Center will host concerts, clinics, and other community events.


About Evangel University

Evangel University, with its embedded Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Spirit-led Christian university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Rakes, EU is committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally and becoming compassionate innovators in their chosen vocations. EU offers more than 70 degree programs, including cutting-edge majors, pre-professional programs, and affordable and flexible online degree options.

EU is highly regarded and has been ranked:

  • #1 Best College in Springfield & #2 Best Christian College in Missouri by Niche
  • US News & World Report Best Colleges Top Performer in Social Mobility
  • Colleges of Distinction Best Christian University
  • Top 10 Best Universities by
  • Third Most Beautiful Campus in the Midwest by Christian Colleges & Universities
  • Top 10 Best Colleges in Missouri by


With additional accreditations in business, counseling, music, social work, and theology and certification as an Excellence in Giving university, EU is focused on providing students with hands-on experience and real-world training for today’s professional careers. Learn more about the university at