Some may argue pride is best checked at the door, but when it comes to Grove City, pride is difficult to hide.
We are all proud of our city -- its ever-compassionate citizens and our always ready-to-help businesses. The year 2016 brought out even more community points of pride.
One of my favorite 2016 celebrations was walking to the pitcher's mound for opening ceremonies of the Mirolo Dream Field at Mount Carmel Stadium.
The Dream Field, a baseball field for children of all abilities, was the dream of six 1950s Grove City Little League baseball players. They fulfilled that dream through their efforts to raise more than $600,000, with much of the funds coming from our community's citizens and businesses.
The day before the Dream Field opening, I was privileged to join Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks for the opening of Scioto Grove Metro Park, a 620-acre park bordered by four winding miles of the Scioto River. Grove City contributed 193 acres to expand the park and enhance its design. It features the only overnight urban backpacking trail in central Ohio.
Noteworthy happenings continued, as city officials joined Mount Carmel representatives at the groundbreaking of the Mount Carmel Health System's Grove City Campus, expanding the current facility to include a 220-bed, full-service hospital east of Interstate 71, greeting northbound drivers entering Grove City. The hospital will employ 1,500 associates when fully staffed in 2018, offering quality medical care to our community and much of central Ohio.
Last year was a remarkable one as well for the South-Western School District, now the fifth largest in Ohio.
City representatives joined with district administrators, teachers, students and family members in celebrating the opening of two new Grove City elementary school buildings.
Our Central Crossing High School NJROTC unit participated in the Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Parade in Hawaii.
South-Western City Schools accepted an invitation for the Grove City High School Marching Band to participate in the 128th Rose Bowl Parade, televised nationally Jan. 2.
Graduates of Grove City Christian School, one of the city's excellent private schools, accumulated $10 million in scholarships over the last two school years.
In October, the South-Western City Schools Board of Education, the Southwest Public Library board and the city shared in hosting the grand opening of the city's new 46,000-square-foot library in the heart of the Town Center.
We can all be proud of our community and the recognition we received when we became the only central Ohio community named Best Hometown by Ohio Magazine for a second time.
A couple described the recognition best when they heard Grove City received the award, saying, "We live here. We knew that call was coming."
Richard L. "Ike" Stage is serving his fifth term as mayor of Grove City.