“It’s a community project.” – Graham Freeman
Just six months after construction began the new clubhouse exterior is finished and looks amazing. But don’t try to book an event there for this fall.
Although donations have steadily come in over the summer, about $200,000 is needed to finish the project.
President of Wellview Golf Club Graham Freeman says he is thrilled with the donations that have come in, but he isn’t taking anything for granted. He wants to see fundraising goals met and know that the project is complete before the doors open to the public next spring.
“We need to take one step at a time. Until we open the doors, we will be doing some fundraising. The project still needs to be paid for in its entirety.”
Interior finishing touches are in progress; tables, chairs, and appliances are needed for the 100-seat dining room and pro shop.
The plan always was to keep fundraising throughout the build and to keep Wellview active for local golfers and the yearly tournaments. Freeman said, “We just can’t afford to lose any more revenue by not having a clubhouse.”
The building, landscaping, interior furnishings, appliances and equipment are included in the total project which has received continuous donations since the January 2018 public meeting to kick-off fundraising.
“We’re throwing around different ideas for fundraising events,” says Freeman, who is now looking beyond local businesses for support.
“This is something that is going to be a one-time build for the years to come.”
The golf club has been self-sustaining, mostly breaking-even in revenue, until the fire destroyed the existing clubhouse over a year ago.
Freeman explains that the golf club is run by a board of directors; the goodwill of the community – businesses and individuals enabled the course to continue to operate in temporary facilities for two summers.
Major step forward
Now, with a land transfer agreement with RM of Wallace Woodworth, the municipality owns the land. They are able to issue tax receipts for charitable donations.
“It opened the door for us to receive donations. As people wish to be a part of the project, they certainly can be. We now have the ability to issue a tax receipt.”
The building project has also received funding support from the RM and from the Town of Virden, recently.
Freeman says that most courses in rural Manitoba are municipally owned/operated.
However, Wellview will continue to run under a board of directors, as it has since post WWII. Within the agreement, the board of directors retains control of the course and clubhouse.
He hopes that this new clubhouse will have destination appeal as well as serving as a golf course. “We’re a wide-open public facility.”
It will be made available for other events as the golfing season allows.
“Obviously it’s a clubhouse first,” he says, adding there is a potential for additional social events to be held at the scenic location.