It's almost reunion time again in Grove City

It's almost reunion time again in Grove City

The 37th annual Alumni Softball tournament, featuring dozens of teams comprising Grove City High School alumni, will be held July 28 and 29.

The event is held in conjunction with the 29th annual Grove City Homecoming Celebration, scheduled from 6 to 10:30 p.m. July 27 on Broadway in the Town Center.

"We call this the world's largest alumni celebration, and we can't find any evidence that there's one bigger," said Kelly Sutherland, Grove City recreation supervisor. "There's really no other community in central Ohio that has a event like this."

"The success and longevity of the alumni tournament is a tribute to the type of people we have in our hometown," said Eric Saxton, tournament coordinator. "It's indicative of the loyalty and camaraderie and the togetherness people from Grove City share."

Many Grove City alumni who have moved out of state plan a visit to their hometown for the events, Sutherland said.

"You see the hugs people give to people they maybe haven't seen for years, and it just gives you a good feeling," she said.

In the 2017 softball tournament, 89 teams representing six decades of alumni competed in six divisions, Saxton said.

"We'll have a team or two drop out each year and a team or two sign up," he said. "We'll have a team from the class of 2018. Even before they graduated, students were talking about being able to participate in the alumni tournament. It's something they look forward to."

Teams may register through Friday, July 20, by completing a form at grovecityalumnitournament.com. The entry fee is $325.

The drawing for this year's softball tournament will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at the Press Box Sports Bar, 4063 Hoover Road. The drawing for a different division will take place about every half hour.

The games will get underway at 9 a.m. on both Saturday and Saturday at Fryer Park; Murfin Fields, 4570 Haughn Road; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 3730 Broadway.

The Homecoming Celebration on July 27 will include concessions provided by food trucks and Town Center restaurants, along with live entertainment featuring RockHouse from 7 to 10 p.m.

This year's inductees into the Homecoming Hall of Fame will be announced during the band's set break.

The evening's activities will begin with a ceremony at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 4035 Broadway, to honor the 2018 Service Above Self recipient, the late Sherol Saxton Mulligan. Family members will be on hand for the unveiling of the plaque honoring Saxton Mulligan on the side of City Hall facing Park Street.

The award recognizes people who have gone above and beyond in their contributions to their community.

Saxton Mulligan is the second award recipient. Dr. Leslie Bostic was recognized in May as the first honoree.

"We will be recognizing the award recipient as part of the Homecoming Celebration from now on," said Larry Titus, past president of the Grove City Rotary Club.

The Rotary Club helps to support the award, which is designed to recognize anyone from the community, not just Rotary Club members.

Saxton Mulligan, who died in October 2016, was a past president of the South-Western City School District Board of Education, Grove City Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Grove City Chamber of Commerce.

"She was a mentor to so many people and such an important part of our community," Titus said. "She served as a board member for the USO and a lot of people knew of her dedication and support of our military, but they didn't know she was a Gold Star daughter.

"Her father was a pilot and died in combat when she was a girl."

A committee comprising a representative of the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society, two community members and the president, vice president, president-elect and past president of the Rotary Club reviews nominations for the award.

"We wanted to have a lot of turnover on the committee. so it's a revolving group," Titus said.

"We already have some nominations for next year's award, and there are so many people worthy of the recognition," he said. "It's going to be wonderful to watch the plaques being added to City Hall over the next 10 to 20 years."

The 11th annual Homecoming Cornhole Tournament will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. July 27. Councilman Ted Berry hosts the event.

Registration is $40 per two-person team with a first-place prize of $200 and $100 for second place.

Entry forms are available at grovecityohio.gov or at City Hall, 4035 Broadway, or Parker's Tavern, 3998 Broadway. Completed forms can be mailed to Parker's Tavern or the city of Grove City. For more information, call 614-309-0332 or email alan@ aboveaverageathletics.com.

Broadway from Grant Street to Grove City Road and Park Street from the City Hall driveway to First Street will close at noon July 27 for the homecoming event. The roads will reopen by 11 p.m.

afroman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAfroman