If you live in the Grove City area, and have children who play sports, you’ve probably visited Murfin Fields, located on Haughn Road, directly behind Grove City High School. And, if you’ve been to Murfin Fields, maybe you’ve met one of two long-time board members of the Grove City Kids Association (GCKA), Board President Bob Lewis and Finance Director Sonny DeLong. Over the last 35 years, they’ve been coaches, Commissioners, and Board members for the GCKA and all-around champions for the young people of that community.
The GCKA was founded in the late 1950s and is currently operated by a diverse executive board that consists of 12 professionals, all volunteers from the Grove City community. Those board members run an operation that accommodates 2,000 young people each year who participate in soccer, football, softball and cheerleading. Murfin Fields is a 51 acre property that features all-purpose athletic fields and a recently completed multipurpose building, financed by Heartland Bank that houses office space, storage, meeting rooms, a concession area, covered patio and flushable restroom facilities. The park was named after the family of Grove City resident Clifton Murfin, who donated $50,000 to GCKA in honor of his son Tom, Tom’s wife Joni Levine Murfin, their four children, and one of Joni’s nephews Greg Levine, who all died in a tragic airplane explosion in 1979. The park features a beautiful living memorial that consists of seven trees that represent the seven lives lost on that sad day.The GCKA is unique in that they are one of only a few youth organizations in central Ohio that own and operate their own sports complex independent of a city parks and recreation department. They are a registered 501(C)-3 non-profit organization that relies on private donations a well as registration fees, field rentals,homecoming/alumni events and Bingo to support field and equipment maintenance, office supplies, utilities, sports equipment and umpire fees, just to name a few. Although the Bingo license was a challenge to obtain in the late seventies, it has been a consistent source of revenue since that time and currently, the thrice weekly game can be found today in its permanent home at 1238 Demorest Road, directly across from Franklin Heights High School.
Heartland Bank Chairman, President and CEO Scott McComb played football in his youth with the Grove City Kids Association and feels very strongly about the benefits that an organization such as GCKA offers to a community. “GCKA is a staple in Grove City and has impacted the youth of the community for many years. Providing activities for kids to enhance their athletic skills, achievement and teamwork, the GCKA can be credited with a great deal of the leadership and athletic excellence that Grove City residents are known for.”
We hope that you’ll support youth athletic programs in whichever community that you call home. Stop in to any of our central Ohio locations and talk to the financial all-stars at Heartland Bank. We’ll help you get a touchdown, home run, or a goal.
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