Growth council leader suggests holding golf tournament to grow funding

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RUMFORD — To help supplement the River Valley Growth Council’s operational budget, board of directors President Rich Allen suggested they hold a golf tournament in October at the Oakdale Country Club in Mexico.

At Wednesday afternoon’s board of directors meeting, Allen said he’d volunteered his services at the council’s Finance Committee meeting to chair such a tournament.

“If done right, it can raise close to $12,000,” Allen said.

“We’ve done it over the last seven years as a joint effort by the chamber and Rotary Club,” he said of the River Valley Chamber of Commerce and Rotary tournaments in July.

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“So, there is money to be made, but it takes volunteer effort, and I don’t mind chairing it, and I don’t mind setting the direction for it, but once you get one going, it’s a little easier year in and year out, because getting the teams that play to re-up is easier than that first year.”

“The biggest thing you need volunteers for is the Prize Committee, but we don’t even have any committees yet,” Allen said.

That’s why he mentioned the potential fundraiser, and will be attempting to learn in the next few months who will also volunteer to help.

He said the growth council’s golf tournament would be its own tournament and have nothing to do with the chamber’s and rotary’s tournament.

Allen said the Prize Committee will do the most work in soliciting donations for prizes.

Canton representative Norris Conant asked Allen for more information about involved costs.

“I don’t know nothing about golf,” Conant said. “I’d have to call Tiger Woods to find out.”

Allen said the entry fee is usually $50, which covers 18 holes of golf, a meal and fees, and the prize for a hole in one is usually $10,000. They can also charge a few hundred dollars for team sponsorships.

For an October tournament, everything would have to be in place by September, he said.

“It’s something to think about,” he said. “It’s really not that bad. The first year is the tough year, getting it started.”

Rumford representative Jim Rinaldo asked how many teams they’d allow, and Allen suggested 16 to 17.

In other business, directors learned from treasurer Bill Hine that two loans that the growth council made to small businesses through its Revolving Loan Fund Program, had to be written off. These were for $10,000 and $5,916.62.

Hine said the remaining loan fund balance also reflects the draw down of $32,500, money that the council loaned to a new Rumford business.

He didn’t name the new business or the two businesses that took out the other two loans and failed to repay them.

“Like with the majority of all the loans we do, we’re trying to put people to work and create jobs,” Allen said.

The good news is that the council has secured a new tenant who will be renting seven of the 10 available bays on the main floor at the Technology Center, Vice President Dick Lovejoy said. Per board policy and past practice, he didn’t identify the tenant.

Construction will soon start to convert the space into offices for the tenant who will arrive in July.

“They will pay for the renovations over the 5-year term of the lease,” Lovejoy said.

But the council will have to borrow the money to pay for the work upfront.

“This will be the end of what was supposed to be the machine shop end of the building,” he said of the space.

And when asked, Lovejoy said the new tenant wouldn’t be creating more jobs.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

River Valley Growth Council directors listen to board President Rich Allen, top right, speak about meeting businessmen from India last month, who toured Rumford as part of the Rotary Club’s Group Study Exchange program. Listening from left are Dixfield Board of Selectmen Chairman Bettina Martin and Dixfield Selectman Norine Clarke, Carthage representative Ernie Robichaud, Bangor Savings Bank representative Kelly Greene, board vice president Dick Lovejoy, growth council administrative assistant Beverly Crosby, and Carthage representative Lawrence Blodgett.

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