The Grove City Alumni Softball Tournament serves as an annual reunion for Grove City High School alumni from across the decades.

CORRECTION: The print and an earlier online version of this story had an incorrect text number for the text-alert program.

The Grove City Alumni Softball Tournament serves as an annual reunion for Grove City High School alumni from across the decades.

"There's a lot of stories and reminiscing," tournament director Eric Saxton said.

There is also a lot of softball.

"In the B division, we can have as many as 35 or 40 teams and you may have to play seven games over the weekend," Saxton said. "That results in a lot of aches and pains – sprained ankles and pulled muscles. People aren't as young as they used to be."

This year's tournament will offer players easier access to treatment for the injuries they suffer.

"We'll have more stations at each field, with people from some of the local rehabilitation centers to provide care for players," Saxton said.

Tournament games will be July 27 and 28 at Fryer Park, 3899 Orders Road, and Murfin Fields, 4523 Haughn Road. Games also will be played July 27 only at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 3730 Broadway.

The tournament will be held in conjunction with the 30th-annual Grove City Homecoming Celebration, set for 6 to 10:30 p.m. July 26 on Broadway in the Town Center.

"It's always so great to see people reconnecting with each other," said Kelly Sutherland, Grove City Parks and Recreation superintendent. "Most reunions are based around a football game at a high school stadium. Our Homecoming Celebration is based in the Town Center, with a concert and all the restaurants and shops people can visit. It's a great setting."

The Homecoming Celebration will feature a concert by RockHouse from 7 to 10 p.m. The alumni softball hall of fame induction ceremony will take place during the band's intermission, Saxton said.

Food trucks and Grove City Town center restaurants will sell refreshments.

The 12th-annual cornhole tournament will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. July 26, with proceeds benefiting Breck Community Park, known as the city's dog park.

The cornhole event will award $200 to the champions and $100 for second place.

Registration costs $40 per two-person team. Forms are available online at grovecityohio.gov or at City Hall, 4035 Broadway, and Parker's Tavern, 3998 Broadway. Completed forms should be mailed to Parker's Tavern or to the City of Grove City, 4035 Broadway, Grove City 43123.

For more information, call 614-309-0332.

Weather-related cancellation information will be available on the city's Facebook and Twitter pages or by calling 614-277-3060 the day of the event.

Residents also can sign up for the text-alert program the city offers in partnership with the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency.

"That's the best way, because now when you access it just once, you're signed up to receive messages for this and all future city events and to get general information about weather-related emergencies, road closures, things like that, whenever they happen," Sutherland said.

The city has offered the text-alert program for the past year, but residents previously had to enroll for each city event, she said. Now, by texting GCAlert to 888777, residents will be signed up to automatically receive messages about each city event or emergency issue, Sutherland said. The one-time text began with the Fourth of July event, she said.

The Homecoming Celebration will begin with a ceremony at 6 p.m. to honor the 2019 Grove City Service Above Self Award recipient, the late Tiney McComb.

McComb, who died in 2012, was the founder of Heartland Bank and was one of the founders and first president of the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce.

He is the third recipient of the award, which honors people for outstanding service and effects on the Grove City community, said Larry Titus, who served as the Grove City Rotary's past president during the organization's 2018-19 club year, which ended June 30.

"When you look at where Heartland Bank is today, it all comes from the foundation that Tiney built," he said.

"And he served the community in so many ways. He's the definition of 'service above self.' "

The Rotary Club is helping to support the award. The first two recipients were Leslie Bostic, founding executive director of the Buckeye Ranch, and Sherol Saxton Mulligan, a past president of the South-Western Board of Education, Grove City Visitors & Convention Bureau and the Grove City Chamber of Commerce.

A committee comprised of 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, Titus said.

"We had five nominations this year, and all of them would be deserving of the award," he said. "There are so many people who give so much to Grove City. It's going to be an amazing roster of honorees in the years to come."

The 6 p.m. ceremony will be held in the George Edge Music Park on Broadway, followed by the unveiling of McComb's plaque on the City Hall building.

The drawing for this year's softball tournament field will be held between 6 and 8:30 p.m. July 25 at the Front Row Sports Bar, 3036 Southwest Blvd. The event will include a tent party.

"It's such fun kickoff to the whole weekend of activities," Saxton said.

"That's where the reunions begin and the friendly competition begins. The players from the different classes start sharing stories and thumping their chest a little bit."

People who have moved across the country return for the homecoming and softball weekend, he said.

More than 80 teams and about 1,000 people are expected to participate in the tournament, Saxton said.

Games get underway at 9 a.m. July 27 and 28 and continue until at least 6 p.m., he said. Teams can at grovecityalumnitournament.com. The registration deadline is Friday, July 19.

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