For the second time in its illustrious 50-year career, the McLeod Country Golf Club has performed a financial miracle with a do-or-die fundraising campaign that will keep the club afloat.
Yesterday president Meryl McKenzie made the triumphant announcement to her advisory committee that, in just a few weeks, the club had raised $522,477 after being told they were close to insolvency.
The club was famously forged from strong community support in 1966, with a $1 purchase of land.
“No one wants to be in the untenable position of having to close the doors on a 50-year-old institution built on absolute blood, sweat and tears,” Ms McKenzie said.
She said it had become clear at their AGM in January that the club faced a dire financial future.
Members were told in February that if $480,000 was not raised by today (March 21), the board would be closing the doors on the institution.
“This wasn’t a challenge to members to support the club; it was a plea to ensure its future sustainability,” Ms McKenzie said.
“We weren’t just going to ask for donations to survive from month-to-month.
“We needed to provide a realistic target to enable us to continue to trade and survive well into the future.”
With private donations as high as $50,000 received, the club had been given a stepping stone for building a stronger future, Ms McKenzie said.
She said community golf clubs everywhere were struggling to survive high operating costs and a trail-off in new memberships.
“The average age of our members is 63, and the younger generation is not joining clubs as their parents did – but we are working on different kinds of memberships, which will appeal more, and we have an amazing culture of support in our club.
“They say culture eats strategy for breakfast and we have an organisation with history, significant community involvement and a most amazing culture of caring, respect and understanding.”
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