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posted: 4/28/2012 7:53 PM

St. Charles Country Club on solid financial footing

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  • The future looks bright for St. Charles Country Club after members rallied around the cause of retiring the club's multimillion-dollar debt.

    The future looks bright for St. Charles Country Club after members rallied around the cause of retiring the club's multimillion-dollar debt.
    Daily Herald file photo


Last summer, word was trickling through St. Charles that the St. Charles Country Club "may be in trouble" financially. Those rumors, of course, fueled speculation that maybe the city's historic private club would be up for sale at some point.

Contemplating the fate of private golf clubs was a fashionable thing last summer, especially after "Talk of the Town" noted Crain's Chicago Business reported Royal Fox and Royal Hawk country clubs CEO John Weiss of St. Charles had purchased a struggling Hillcrest Country Club for $3 million and converted it to a course named The Grove.

Apparently, St. Charles Country Club members wanted to make sure they didn't become another news item about a struggling private club being gobbled up in a stubborn recession.

Club officials reported this week that members rallied around the cause of retiring the club's multimillion-dollar debt -- and doing it five years ahead of schedule.

Club President Patrick Keeley and chief operating officer Douglas Stewart said wiping the club's mortgage payments off the books puts St. Charles Country Club on solid ground for years to come.

Members voluntarily contributed to "Legacy Memberships" to pay off the debt, allowing the club to remain independent.

In addition to putting any rumors to rest, a few local organizations are likely smiling about the club straightening out its financial house.

St. Charles Country Club has long contributed to Tri-Cities Health Partnership, Lazarus House and the Delnor Health Care Foundation.

Eating and learning: You certainly learn a few things about various businesses throughout the Fox Valley when you attend the annual Rolling Down the River chamber expo at Pheasant Run. And you eat good food, too.

This year was no different.

First, it would be hard for anyone to top the seafood gumbo the chefs at the Pheasant Run Resort table were dishing out to visitors, but other food samples from Silver Lake and Tap House restaurants hit the spot as well.

The fellow at the Little Caesar's table mentioned that they are trying to bring the inexpensive pizza shop back into the Tri-Cities, years after leaving Geneva. So that could be a good thing.

Also, I learned something I was curious about. How did Cadence Health come up with that name after Central DuPage and Delnor hospitals merged?

The folks at the Cadence table said planners got into a room, mixed up the letters that make up the names of both hospitals, and "started fooling around with different combinations, and they came up with Cadence."

Not a bad result, if you ask me.

For the talented ones: The reality shows in which people display talents for the world to see and for a panel of judges decide their merit don't have anything on Geneva -- at least during Swedish Days.

That's because a "Geneva's Got Talent" showcase has been added to Swedish Days, with auditions taking place May 20.

Only the first 75 people to apply to show off singing, dancing, magic or other talents will be invited to audition. So those with talent will want to sign up soon at More information is available at (630) 232-6060.

A benefit with heart: Supporters came out in big numbers last weekend for the annual TriCity Family Services benefit at Lincoln Inn in Batavia, so it was the proper setting for the agency to begin a new tradition.

The agency presented its first Golden Heart Award winners to those who have provided significant long-standing support to the agency. Those winners were Ann and Tom Alexander, the Hansen-Furnas Foundation and United Methodist Church of Geneva.

The agency also came up a winner for the night, as generous attendees were hitting some big numbers on silent- and live-auction items.

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