A 100th birthday is cause for celebration.

But although the Grove City Community Club reached that milestone this year, the club is marking the occasion by focusing on the same mission it has had for its first 99 years.

"If we see a need in the community, we try to fill that need," club president Barb Rowe said. "That's what the community club's always been about."

"We are a social club; we do like to get together, but the focus is always on working on our projects. That's what it's all about," said Sharon Downs, a past president and club member for more than 40 years.

The community club was established in 1917, during World War I.

"Basically, the club was organized in one woman's home as a project to mend socks and completing other projects to support the men in the community who were going off to war," Downs said. "From there, it just expanded into an all-purpose community service organization."

Downs knows a lot about the history of the club because her mother belonged to it for decades, she said.

"I remember how important the club was to her," Downs said. "It's unusual to have a civic organization last for 100 years.

"I think it's lasted so long because of all the women over the decades who have dedicated their lives to the community club and its mission. I know my mother did. It was a big part of her life," she said.

While Downs isn't sure of the date, she does know how the club obtained the building that serves as its clubhouse.

"It's been added onto over the years, but the main part of the building was originally a portable classroom used at the old high school down Park Street," she said. "At some point, the school district didn't need it any more, perhaps when they built the new high school, and they gave the building to the community club."

The clubhouse was moved to 3397 Civic Place, behind the old Grove City Library building off Park Street.

The club meets at the building at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesdays of each month and opens the doors for special events, including its Election Day luncheons.

"We're known for our noodles," Rowe said. "We have a special recipe that makes our noodles so delicious. People love our noodles. No matter how much we make, we keep selling out."

When asked about the recipe, "No, we can't tell you that. It's a secret," Rowe said, with a laugh.

Along with participating each year in the Grove City Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market, the community club hosts its own harvest market, where it sells its chicken and noodles.

The 2017 Harvest Market will be held Sept. 23 and 30 and Oct. 7. The market hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Park Street at Broadway.

"We'll have a variety of vendors selling fall vegetables, baked goods and crafts items," Rowe said.

During the market's first week, the club will give out 500 free pumpkins.

"The idea is for people to come back the third weekend with their pumpkins all decorated for our contest," Rowe said. "The second week, we have a pumpkin pie contest."

Another decorative event is the club's annual Christmas Tree Festival and holiday gala in November.

Local businesses and individuals buy four-and-a-half-foot trees the club offers and then decorate them in time for the festival.

"People then have a chance to bid on the trees they like best," Rowe said. "It's such a fun event. It's always amazing to see what decorative ideas people come up with for their trees."

Both of those events serve as major fundraisers for the community club.

In 2003, the club established a scholarship fund and awards up to six $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors who live in Grove City.

"We recognize students who have demonstrated a history of community service," Rowe said.

With so much going on, room can be made for extra help.

"We are always looking for new members," Rowe said.

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