Novant Health Named Presenting Sponsor of the Steve Smith Family Foundation Rally for Mental Health Pickleball Tournament


The Steve Smith Family Foundation (SSFF) today announced Novant Health as the presenting sponsor for its new fundraising event, Rally for Mental Health and Celebrity Paddle Battle pickleball events, being held on May 3 and 4 at Pickleball Charlotte. Proceeds from the event will support the Foundation’s mental health and wellness initiatives to include the Smith Family Behavioral Health Urgent Care (BHUC), a 24-hour facility which provides critical mental health and substance use disorder services to the community.

The first of its kind in Charlotte, the BHUC has served more than 1,500 people in its first year of operation, who otherwise could have ended up in overcrowded emergency rooms. “We are thrilled Novant Health has partnered with us on our Tournament, but more importantly, has made this investment to help address the behavioral health crisis in our community,” said Michelle Hunt, Executive Director of SSFF. “Our collaboration will further our shared goal of providing everyone in our community access to mental health and substance use disorder resources and services.” she added. “Prioritizing our mental health is just as critical as our physical health,” said Saad Ehtisham, senior vice president, Novant Health, and president of Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center and the greater Charlotte region.

“The Steve Smith Family Foundation makes a remarkable impact on our community, providing mental health resources for those who need them most and lessening the stigma around mental illness. Novant Health is proud to support the Rally for Mental Health pickleball tournament as we work to build greater access to important community resources and a healthier future together.” The Saturday, May 4th round-robin Rally for Mental Health tournament is open to players of all skill levels. Participants can expect a fun morning of friendly competition as they work to become crowned the first Rally for Mental Health Pickleball Champions. Participants also receive an invitation for two to the exclusive Celebrity Paddle Battle on Friday, May 3.

During this event, Steve Smith Sr., former professional tennis player John Isner, current pickleball pro Jack Sock and former Carolina Panthers legend Jonathan Stewart will square off in a best two-out-of-three game match. In addition, SSFF has partnered with PBPRO, a locally, woman-owned pickleball company, as the official paddle partner for the tournament. The premier company produces paddles, clothing, and accessories nationwide from its home base in Davidson, NC.

Each Rally for Mental Health player will receive a PBPRO paddle as a gift for participating in the event. Rally for Mental Health has also brought ROOTS Catering on board as a Hospitality Sponsor. As the Hospitality Sponsor, Roots will be providing the food and beverage for guests attending the Celebrity Paddle Battle. Roots provides unique, delicious, and locally-sourced full service catering in Charlotte, NC and surrounding areas.

To learn more about this event and the Smith Family Foundation, please visit: # # # About the Steve Smith Family Foundation Founded in 2013 by Steve and his family, the Steve Smith Family Foundation was established as a way for the Smith Family to serve their community.

The Foundation focuses on bridging gaps in mental health and wellness for families and underserved communities.

Steve Smith Family Foundation contact: Michelle Hunt, Executive Director 980-227-2153

Novant Health contact: Novant Health Public Relations Media Line: 704.617.2631