Smiles are a Greatest currency

A smile pays so much.

We’re at Year 3 of Greatest Golfer of the Valley presented by Farmers National Bank.

It teed off Friday at Mill Creek Golf Course with 250 players.

Add to that total many players’ caddies and supporters, there were plenty of smile payments this weekend.

Somebody dove into the message board this week with a small backhander about the event, and citizenry’s pre-occupation with sports and competition.

Greatest is certainly a pre-occupation, as are many events that also include some athleticism, including today’s other big event — the Panerathon.

So there is certainly competition at Greatest. And the 250+ players certainly are hopeful for a chance to add the “Greatest” title to their golf resume.

But there also is citizenship and camaraderie mixed in with equal amounts of the competition.

And the result is a positive activity that resonates in so many ways for the Valley, for the many partners who make up Greatest.

The 250 citizens who make up the 2012 Greatest come from all walks of life — drivers, shift workers, retirees, doctors, salesmen, students, etc.

They come from all four corners of our two-state region. East Palestine is here; Kinsman is here; Hermitage is here; Warren is here.

They play; many people come out to watch.

Mostly and primarily — they smile.

This happens due to partners. We’ve been blessed with many.

The Lake Club and the Muranskys, the teams at Mill Creek, Trumbull, Youngstown and Tippecanoe anchor the adults.

Our juniors Greatest saw 250 kids compete, and that’s been anchored by Tamer Win, Diamondback and Tam O’Shanter golf courses and is joined this year by Mohawk Trails, Pine Lakes and The Salem Golf Club.

Sponsors help make Greatest happen — from the food to the prizes to the players’ prices, and we’ve been glad to have Farmers National since Day 1.

Joining them is Stadium GM, Cole Valley Cadillac, Mark Thomas Ford, New Castle School of Trades, My Loop Scorecards and Taco Bell.

Their investment in golf is as much a measure of the competition as it is the community.

And we have our friends who rise up just to help. Handel’s served up the new Dennis Miller U.S. Open ice cream flavor yesterday.

Canfield and Mooney high school golf teams lent a hand. And the families and friends came out to send smiles.

It all wraps up today at The Lake Club. First players tee off at 9 a.m. The Pete Mollica Open Division players tee off at 11:30.

We’ll crown Greatest players starting at 2 p.m. And finish at 5 p.m. The community is invited to attend.

The smiles tell us: It’s a Greatest community.

Todd Franko is editor of The Vindicator. He likes emails about stories and our newspaper. E-mail him at He blogs, too, on

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