August 5-- The effort to bring a golf course back to Vidalia is meeting with some success and organizers are extending the campaign to raise $500,000 to the end of August.
At the end of July, the campaign had raised more than 60% of the goal and one of the organizers, Vidalia businessman Michael Kay, is making an appeal for more people to join those who have already contributed, "A lot of people have stepped up to the plate. A lot of people who don't even play golf have stepped up to the plate and a lot of people who've made a living off this community have gotten behind this push, but we need everybody to get behind it for the community,"
Kay believes a golf course is an economic development multiplier for the Sweet Onion City and notes the millions of dollars made over the years for worthy causes by charity golf tournaments. He's also concerned about the signal it's sending future generations, "Strictly this is all for the community. We've had one of the best golf programs in the country at Vidalia High School and for us not to even have a golf course anymore is completely unacceptable.
Vidalia High School Golf Coach Chad Barker says without a course in Vidalia, the future of the Indian golf teams is bleak, "The reason we need a golf course is to make sure our golf teams survive and that we are able to continue to compete at a high level. Our high school has won 15 state golf championships and if a golf course is not built we're going to end up losing our golf program because the kids have nowhere to play," Coach Barker said.
If the goal is reached, a corporation governed by a volunteer board of directors will be formed to rebuild nine of the 18 holes at the former Rocky Creek Golf Course and, according to Kay, this is the last chance Vidalia has, "We just need everybody to get behind this. We need every business to give something, no gift is too small, and if everybody gets behind it we can make this last push to get to our $500,000 goal.
If the campaign is unsuccessful by the end of August, Everett will return donations to those who contributed.