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Pickleball tournament supports animal therapy program

The Harmony Family Center held its second annual pickleball tournament. The money raised went toward their animal-assisted therapy programs.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Pickleball players took the court for a good cause on Sunday.

The Harmony Family Center held its second annual pickleball tournament.

The money raised went toward their animal-assisted therapy programs.

Organizers said about 70 people laced up and played in the tournament.

"It's unconditional love and support from a fur friend and it really breaks down a lot of barriers for kids and helps them to open up more," said Nichole Coning, CEO of Harmony Family Center.

Harmony Family Center has programs with therapy horses and dogs.

Leaders said it has found that kids who have been through trauma also connect more to animals than they do with therapists.