GREENVILLE — Person Centered Services (PCS), an organization benefiting developmentally disabled individuals in Darke County, plans to begin hosting a tailgate-style party before each home game this season at Greenville High School. The first party will be held September 7, before Greenville’s first home game of the season, at the roundhouse in Greenville City Park.
According to PCS director Mark Middlecoff, the tailgate parties will feature many of the same staples they’ve been serving at the roundhouse since reopening the concession a week before Memorial Day, including ice cream, snow cones, soda, coffee, and snacks, along with some new items.
“We’ll probably still have ice cream,” Middlecoff said, “along with season-appropriate items like hot chocolate, popcorn, and subs from Eikenberry’s.”
The roundhouse has had a connection to the school’s sports teams since before the decision to throw the tailgate parties, according to Middlecoff.
“We wanted the roundhouse to be nostalgic,” Middlecoff said. “Like it was many years ago. We finally found someone who could paint the old Greenville High School logo, and we thought it would be great for people to see that as they drive by on their way to the parking lot to get to the games.”
The tailgate events also allow the roundhouse staff to address a concern they’ve encountered, which is that the location’s limited hours (10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. weekdays, along with occasional holidays and events) make it difficult for those who work during the day to visit the stand.
“We did a time study,” Middlecoff said. “And our busiest times were late morning and early afternoon, then really hit and miss before and after that. So this is just a chance to get folks who can’t make it in during the day to meet us and introduce ourselves.”
Above all, said Middlecoff, working at the roundhouse and participating in community affairs such as parties and sporting events provides a vital service to their organization’s clients, teaching them crucial job skills and giving them a chance to be part of the community.
“It’s been a very good community integration,” said Middlecoff. “Ten years ago our program was basically all in the center. Now our individuals are getting job experience, learning communication skills. They deliver meals to local veterans every Wednesday. Several of them have been hired by Kroger, Rural King, GTI, and Whirlpool. One even went to the city council and thanked them.”
PCS recently renewed their lease on the roundhouse property through October 2018, and Middlecoff said he hopes the tailgate parties become a long-standing tradition.
“We’ve gotten so much positive response about reopening the roundhouse,” Middlecoff said. “We’ve got a lot of support – it’s been a good venture. We look forward to making this a long endeavor with the park.”