To the editor:
David Newell is attempting to do what very few others would attempt, because he cares about Person County. I have had many meetings with David, discussing ideas he has for the county and its future.
He is “outside the box” and I hope I can put down what he sees, and others see, in our county.
It is not just a golf course, it is a community center which contains an 18-hole golf course, driving range, tennis courts (have had little play with the Parks board and the high schools developing outstanding courts with grants and forward thinking); plus an Olympic size pool that, for my money, is the best in the county. The tennis courts could very easily be turned into courts for pickle ball, which hs become a big rage.
The clubhouse is over 5,000 square feet and holds a beautiful ballroom on the upper level, with a full-size kitchen and bar area. The upper level has an office and a large coat closet. The lower level has a lady’s lounge with three showers and a locker room; the men’s lounge has showers and a locker room with one card playing room. There are also two large rooms where the pro shop is located, along with a grill and dining area.
We had over 110 registered family memberships for the pool in 2018. That’s the most memberships for one year in the past eight years.
It has been a community center that held more than 30 weddings, 10 reunions and birthday parties in 2018.
Many weddings were for people who did not want to spend the $5,000 to $10,000 that most others were charging for their wedding venues. Several of the spectacular weddings were held on the first tee or off the beautiful porch overlooking the lake. These will always be remembered. Person County needs this venue.
If you would even take the time to see what happened this year...
Lynn Ward made the decision to start a girls golf team with encouragement from Jeremy Clayton, the new athletic director at Person High School.
Lynn has as many as eight dedicated, enthusiastic girls, who had never play a day of golf before. They wore their golf outfits to school proudly on game day. Many people donated money and others gave golf outfits. They were a team. If they were asked to meet at Sheetz’ after school, they would say “no, we have to go play golf.” They didn’t give up when the going got tough. They played rain or shine. We were so proud of these young ladies.
All three Person County high schools (Person, Roxboro Community School and Roxboro Christian Academy) have golf teams and use the golf course.
Therefore, we need a golf course in Person County to keep those students in a game they can enjoy until old age.
The Parks & Rec Department, D.A.R.E. and My Life Matters use the pool every summer for the boys and girls. Many private birthday parties are also held at the pool.
My health did not justify continuing the club and the course. It needs to be run by the Parks & Rec department to draw new families and industry to Person County.
We really want to see the forest and the trees by saying “let’s go Dave” and not sitting on our hands. Tourism development should be jumping all over this opportunity to further develop tourism in the county.
The county has the knowledge, equipment and power to manage all the entities of Roxboro Country Club. Those of us who work with youth know what David sees and will support him.
We need forward thinking, not the old guard way. Our youth, especially, need a place to visit, and even start fishing, golfing and summer camps for our youth.
North Person County and the Hyco Lake area receive little government support at all. All government support goes to Roxboro and south.
It is time for change and to receive support instead of tax letters. It is time for the people in the county to rally around their youth. The senior center and Little League park are great examples of what these ventures can do and become. Let’s give David a chance to develop this one also.
Yes, it will take lots of organizing, funds and rallying together, but the rewards will be greater.
Donna and Earl Gurtner
Editor’s note: The writers are the former owners of Roxboro Country Club. Earl is also the golf coach at Roxboro Community School.