Grow project gets Melita Golf Course back on track

The devastating floods of 2011 and 2014 wreaked havoc across Manitoba. The communities of Melita and area were hit hard. In fact, the Melita Golf Course sustained $313,000 in damages to greens, bridges and other areas. A little over half ($173.000) was covered by EMO, leaving the golf club responsible for $140,400. Loan payments of $8700 in 2017 and $7300 in 2018 left balance in the fall of $124,400 — still a prohibitive amount and a daunting task for a course that was working hard to turn a small profit, let alone service debt.

Fortunately, the challenge was met in early 2018 when Bryan Nestibo and Wayne White (Past President) presented the idea of a grow project with the proceeds going to the debt. In addition, White offered a significant donation — the use of his quarter section forgoing proceeds from rent for a term of two years. Golf club members sold tickets to offset input expenses for the crop, selling 143 of 160 tickets. Mary Vinck of Melita won the $5,000 prize.

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The crop was sewn to canola for the 2018 season and the grow project netted the course over $40,000 which was paid directly towards the mortgage.

“The 2018 year-end balance on the mortgage was $84,400 and as recently as March 15 our club received an anonymous donation of $6100 to be put directly to the mortgage, leaving an outstanding balance (at the time of article) of $78,300,” said Neil Franklin, club president.

“The club is grateful to everyone that purchased tickets and to the following people for their assistance with custom work: Randy and Delory Nestibo, Danny Vanbeselaere, Darryl VanCauwenberghe (Rocky Mountain) and Bert Kirkup — and special appreciation to Wayne White for his donation of the quarter section,” added Franklin.

The Melita Golf Course is running a final grow project for 2019. “We are growing wheat this year and Barker Farms has generously committed to seeding the field for us.”

Course condition is a major priority for the golf course board who plan on running more tournaments in 2019. To reach this goal, volunteer help will be needed prior to the course opening for a big clean up from the fall burn off. With that said, the plan is to open the course at the end of April — subject to weather and course conditions.

With the goal of attracting new members and encourage golfers to support the grow project, memberships, greens fees and trail fees will remain the same as 2018. Memberships are due prior to golfing.

The grow project raffle will have a few changes this year — tickets are selling 3 for $250 or 1 for $100. The grand prize will be $4000 with two additional $500 prizes. A total of 400 tickets will be sold and 150 are already sold. Tickets are available from: Enns Brothers, Griffith Agencies in Waskada, Stewart’s Lumber, Neil Franklin or at the Melita Golf Clubhouse.

“It is the financial goal of the executive to have all of our long-term debt paid off by December 31, 2020. The condition of the course, primarily the greens, was improved in 2018 and we are hoping for that to continue in 2019,” concluded Franklin.

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