Pictured Above: The new pickleball courts under construction at the south entrance of Main Street in Aurora, Minnesota.  

In January 2023, a small group of volunteers received approval from the Aurora City Council to replace an old tennis court at the south entrance of Main Street with four new pickleball courts.  

The Jim Gillach Memorial Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, was established for this project with the goal of bringing foot traffic to downtown businesses, introducing a new recreational opportunity to the community, and improving the appearance of a key entrance to Main Street. 

Through private and corporate donations, along with grants from the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, Age-Friendly Minnesota, Essentia Health, and NewRange Copper Nickel, the funds have been secured to build the courts.  

Construction has begun with a completion date slated for the end of August. Aurora businesses Mesabi Masonry, Aurora Electric, RedTop Construction, and Lakehead Constructors have all donated significant time and materials to ensure the project comes to fruition. 

“This has been a true community effort. I have been humbled by all the local support,” said John Miklausich, president of the Jim Gillach Memorial Fund. “With many current and former residents contributing to the build, we certainly could not have done this without so much community support.” 

Fundraising continues for a sidewalk to the court along with landscaping. If you would like to contribute, you can mail donations to the Jim Gillach Memorial Fund, PO Box 315, Aurora, Minnesota 55705. Donations to the 501(c)(3) are tax deductible. You can also contact John Miklausich at jmiklausic@aol.com for more information.  

We look forward to seeing many East Range residents on the courts soon. Pickleball for all!