Saying Goodbye to Donna Lynch, Lake City’s Pickleball Pioneer

Bill Shippee, Bob Hoffman, Donna Lynch, Ron Wilson, and Don Houston

Donna Lynch and her late husband Chip played a critical role in bringing pickleball to Lake City. In the beginning, they had no place to play but the driveway of their home in Cannon Creek Airpark where they invited neighbors to learn how to play. In just a few short years, working together with key municipal allies, they opened up pickleball to hundreds of local and visiting players in the area.


In recent months, Donna’s world has dramatically altered with the loss of her husband, and she’s passed the baton to others to grow the sport here in Columbia County while she retires to the Villages, otherwise known as Pickleball Paradise.

Before she moved away, some of the players she inspired got together and had a commemorative plaque made to recognize the impact the Lynches had putting pickleball on the map in this part of Florida. It is only fitting that the ones presenting the plaque to her were among those original neighbors who first learned to play this addictive sport with the funny name in their driveway…