Dozens of family members and friends gathered last weekend to honor a man who brought pickleball to Coon Rapids.
Former City Council member Bruce Sanders, who died one year ago, helped spearhead an effort which resulted in a major renovation project at Riverwind Park.
"Bruce would call me, Bruce Sanders here and he'd be like you need to go over to Maple Grove and you need to check out the courts," said Coon Rapids Recreation Supervisor Ryan Gunderson.
Those gathered at Riverwind Park shared memories of Bruce including his wife Sheila who recalled the moment Bruce fell in love with the sport while on vacation in Florida.
"He went off running and when he came back he said I found out what I'm going to do the rest of my life and, of course, he went down to the pickleball courts and met pickleball players and he said they are the nicest people," said Sheila Sanders.
A special plaque now hangs at the Riverwind Park pickleball courts which have been dedicated in memory of the man who brought the sport to life in Coon Rapids.
"Bruce's ashes are over at Fort Snelling but his spirit is here," said Sheila Sanders.