Rec Director praises Dixie Tourney effort

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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On behalf of the Greenville Parks and Recreation Department I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Greenville Advocate for its promotion and coverage of the 2018 Dixie Ozone State Tournament that was recently held in our city, as well as recognize others who helped make the event a success.

The tournament for 11-12 year olds brought hundreds of visitors to our city, some for as long as six days, and helped boost our local economy through money spent at hotels, restaurants and other businesses in Greenville. The reviews from Dixie officials and parents of participants were highly favorable and credit for helping us put on this event goes to a lot of groups and individuals.

First I would like to thank my fellow city employees for their help. Virtually every department had a hand in this huge undertaking and we wouldn’t have been successful without their efforts. The pride, dedication and hard work they put into the tournament left a lasting impression on everyone who attended games at the Greenville Sportsplex.

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I also want to say how much I appreciate Q-94 and WGYV for their promotion of the tournament in the weeks leading up to the games. A special thank you goes out to Q-94’s Kyle Haynes for providing his services during the tournament’s opening ceremonies.

I would also like to thank Tracy Salter and Courtney Neese of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber was part of planning efforts that lasted nearly a year and they went the extra mile to help us with many key aspects leading up to the start of the tournament, including an outstanding presentation showcasing the Camellia City for coaches’ wives at LBW on opening day.

Local hotel management also deserves a round of applause for working with us months in advance to secure accommodations for the teams and their supporters. As we’ve learned from other tournaments this has to be coordinated exactly as planned to work and they more than did their part to help us make it happen.

As was the case with other state tournaments we’ve hosted, GEMS Ambulance volunteered their services from the first game to the last. With the tournament taking place in the heat of the day their support was crucial to ensure the safety of players and fans alike. The Garlock family are long-time supporters of youth activities in our community and we sincerely appreciate what they did to help us.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Mayor Dexter McLendon and the City Council for their endorsement of the tournament. They helped us get the ball rolling toward a successful event by approving our bid in the summer of 2017 and we appreciate them having faith in our department that we were capable of getting the job done. As is always the case, Councilman Ed Sims worked countless hours with our department before, during and after the tournament and we sincerely thank him for the role he plays each and every time we host a tournament of this magnitude.

I would also like to say how much I appreciate the citizens of Greenville for doing their part to make this event a success. Each and every visitor we talked to during the Ozone State Tournament commented on the warm reception they received in our city. You made our visitors feel at home and for that I am extremely grateful. I also want to thank local businesses for their support through the purchase of ads in our game program and donations of items for the gift bags presented to tournament officials.

Last, but not least, I would like to thank the employees of the Greenville Parks and Recreation Department. They aren’t many in number but each and every time we have one of these events, be it baseball and softball or basketball or track and field, they rise to the occasion to help us put our best foot forward. I’m proud of the people I work with and honored to be associated with this dedicated group of individuals.

Once again, thank you Greenville. As we have before we successfully proved that working together we can think big and make good things happen for our community. 

We couldn’t have done it without you and we look forward to doing it all over again real soon.

Greg Fuller is the Recreation Department Director for the City of Greenville.