The fourth annual Grove Fest will be held at The Grove on Saturday, April 28 from 12-5 p.m., and the proceeds of the event will benefit the Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire Company (SRVFC).
While the event is free, attendees can pay $5 to participate in each of the 10 events ranging from dodgeball and volleyball tournaments to a 1K Fun Run around The Grove. There will also be a DJ, photobooth, food vendors, face painting, and inflatable obstacle course.
Grove Fest will be open to the public which is a change from other years, as the previous three Grove Fests have been exclusive to residents at The Grove.
“We are always looking for opportunities to give back to the community. So, when we saw that there was a need, we thought we should open it up,” Meagan Reed, general manager of The Grove, said.
A shuttle bus will be available to transport students from Jack Critchfield Park to The Grove in a 20-minute loop.
The idea of creating this year’s Grove Fest as a fundraiser came from a meeting of off-campus housing landlords at SRU. At the meeting, Rick Grossman, Slippery Rock Township planning consultant and zoning officer, asked for donations from the housing complexes to support the volunteer fire company according to Reed.
“I reached out to him after the meeting and said, ‘I don’t know if this would be of interest to you, but we have this event coming up. What do you think of us turning it into a fundraiser?’,” Reed said. Reed and Grossman presented their plan to the SRVFC at their April 2 meeting.
According to Ryan Hanchosky, SRVFC president and assistant chief, the SRVFC will need a new fire truck within the next five years in addition to new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs) and radios, and the company just purchased new pagers. Slippery Rock Borough and local townships have already contributed to purchasing more radios. The current radios and pagers need replaced since they will be obsolete once the county switches to a new radio system by fall 2019.
“We’re just trying to keep everything up to date,” Hanchosky said.
As part of their own fundraising efforts, the SRVFC will host a sportsman raffle in November along with Prospect Borough-Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department. Additionally, the SRFVC hosts fish fries during Lent, participates in Main Street events and collects money during “boot days” around graduation time.
According to Hanchosky, since the SRVFC’s fundraisers typically occur over the weekend, more of the focus has been on fundraising instead of training.
“We want to get to doing more training on the weekends and having other people help us with money. That way, we can train and be the top qualified people when we show up at their door for an emergency,” Hanchosky said.
All proceeds from the 10 events at Grove Fest will go to the SRVFC. Sponsors of Grove Fest donated items that will serve as prizes for the winners of the 10 events. Additionally, the food vendors—Yumberries, Wieners Gone Wild and Domino’s Pizza—will donate a portion of their proceeds to the SRVFC.
“I think it will be a great way for the community to come together for a great organization. So, if anybody wants to come out, we’d love to have them,” Reed said.