Steve Pierce, right, completes a check during a meeting held Sunday to raise funds to save Oakwood Golf. At left, is Mayor Steve Hutcheson. Standing is David Barnes of Licking.

Organizers of an effort to save Oakwood Golf east of Houston hope to raise enough money and sell enough memberships by Wednesday to execute a lease effective March 1. That message was delivered Sunday afternoon at a public meeting at the community building at the Houston Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds.

Those gathered heard that volunteers are seeking $1,000 tax-deductible donations from businesses and individuals to pay for a lease and other operational needs. Additionally, at least 80 memberships are needed to enable the business to operate for one year. That’s how many are currently on the rolls.

Brad Rees, who spoke at the meeting, said it was critical that the donations and membership dues be received by Wednesday. Persons can drop off their funds, made payable to the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce, at the chamber’s office on South Sam Houston Blvd. Checks should be earmarked “Oakwood Golf” on the memo.

The scramble to save the golf course began after the owner Gordon Zeigler announced he planned to close it March 1 and would begin looking for a buyer. Under the plan announced Sunday:

  • A corporation of local volunteers would be formed.
  • An estimated $30,000 in donations are needed by Wednesday to commit to a lease. On Sunday, it was estimated that about $20,000 was committed.
  • Dues, which remain unchanged from the past season, will be collected. At least 80 annual memberships are needed.
  • If the collection of money proves successful, the group will execute a lease with Zeigler at $24,000 for the year, which includes the use of inventory already in place. Rees said Zeigler will work with the local group as to the payment terms.

Arrangements for a greenskeeper have been made, and the local group is looking for someone to oversee the day-to-day operation and will make payments to a firm for use of golf carts. It may also be possible that some trading of dues for labor at the course may also occur.

If the money can’t be raised, the checks will be returned to their writers and the course closes.

The Zeiglers plan to list the course with a national firm and may do so locally, as well, Rees said. The price is $500,000.

For more information call the chamber office at 417-967-2220 or Rees at 417-967-4143.

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