A group photo from the 2021 Optimist Club Pickleball tournament. Photo courtesy of Dave Bean.

The Coronado Optimist Club has named its Pickleball Open on Oct. 14-15 at the Coronado Cays Tennis Center after longtime community resident Bill Parry.

The mission of the Optimist Club is to support the community and most importantly, to support the youth of Coronado, and the pickleball tournament is no different. 

The tournament is $50 to enter and open to anyone 18 years and older.

The Optimist Creed

The atmosphere of the club, which has been around since 1971, is generated around the Optimist Creed: A positive thinking tool that consists of 10 promises a person makes to himself or herself.

Club President Paul Lull said Parry embodies the creed every day.

Lull said that Parry epitomizes point five, which states: “To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.”

Lull said Parry has a commitment towards excellence for every community event for which he’s involved. 

Commitment to excellence

Lull said Parry goes above and beyond for the club’s annual scholarship contest for high school seniors that Parry has organized for the past seven years. Lull said the event is by far the club’s most detail-oriented and well-done event.   

“He is just so articulate and detailed. [He] covers all the bases and never asks for any credit.”

-Paul Lull, president of the Coronado Optimist Club.

“He is just so articulate and detailed,” Lull said. “[He] covers all the bases and never asks for any credit, and never wants any credit.”

Dave Bean, an Optimist Club member the past 12 years, said this is the first time that they’ve named the annual pickleball tournament after a member, much to the dismay of Parry, who would prefer to deflect the honor to other members.  

“Bill was the one that got us moving down this road,” Bean said. “He’s done a great deal for the club itself and the larger optimist organization at a statewide level.”

Genesis of the idea

Parry was the genesis of the idea to start a pickleball tournament in 2021, but Parry said that Bean was the one who carried out its execution. 

“Ideas are cheap. Ideas are everywhere. So, all I had in this whole thing…was I had an idea,” Parry said. “But Dave Bean was the guy that picked up the idea and ran with it.”

Besides being the one who got the ball rolling for the tournament, Parry has had a very influential hand in starting lacrosse in Coronado and San Diego. 

He also ran the Sport’s Fiesta, which was the club’s signature triathlon event. 

Parry’s hand in the community runs deep, and his family, wife Sarah Kaufmann and son Mike Parry, have a similar drive for excellence, said Lull.

Cinematographer Mike Parry on the set of hit neo-western TV show “Yellowstone” near Darby, Montana. Photo courtesy of Mike Parry.

Referring to Parry’s son, Mike Parry, and his hard working mentality as a cinematographer, Lull said that “the tree doesn’t fall far from the apple,” reversing the commonly used phrase to show the like-minded disposition of the father and son duo.

“Whatever Bill is near, it gets better, bigger and becomes the best,” Mark Blumenthal, the secretary of the Coronado Optimist Club, said. 

For every skill level

As a sport, Pickleball is growing rapidly in popularity in Coronado, and is also the fastest growing sport in America for the third year running according to the sports website PICKLEHEADS.

Whether it be beginners or seasoned experts, the tournament has a spot for every skill level. 

Organizers are hoping for around 100 participants, who can sign up for men’s, women’s or mixed doubles events.

Sign up here for the 2023 Bill Parry Pickleball Open or visit https://optimistclubofcoronado.org/ for more information.

“They couldn’t have picked a better person or a name to have a legacy,” Lull said.

Parry, a member of the Coronado Marine Corps League Auxiliary, is Paymaster for the Coronado Marine Corps League Detachment.

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Sofie Fransen is a staff writer for The Coronado News. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University, majoring in English-Education and minoring in Journalism. She was the Opinion Editor of The Point student newspaper. In the summers, she has been commercial fishing for the sockeye salmon run in Alaska. She can be reached by email or at 360-527-5848.