While the structural damage from the fire that tore through the venerable Oakland Hills Country Club clubhouse was devastating, so was the human cost. Thankfully, no lives were lost, but many of those who have worked at the club for years, if not decades, will be out of work for a significant period of time as the club rebuilds.
With this in mind, ClubsHelp, the philanthropic arm of the National Club Association, is stepping in to create an opportunity to support club members affected by the fire.
Henry Wallmeyer, President and CEO of the NCA, the national advocacy and education organization which supports the private club industry, said “The club’s dedicated staff face a devastating situation and need help from our community.
ClubsHelp was established in 2020 as a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation for club employees at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. He is launching an employee relief fund for Oakland Hills, which will be funded by donations collected through the ClubsHelp website. ClubsHelp made an initial donation of $5,000 and will match donations for the first $15,000. The fundraising goal is $250,000.
The club fire on Wednesday is expected to be almost a total loss, but reports say firefighters, workers and members have formed some sort of chain gang to salvage some of the vast collection of golf stories and memorabilia. of the club. A report by WXYZ said two women who had worked at the club since 1977 stood in front of the fire, hugging and in tears. “My house is burning,” said one. “Everyone who works there is family. It is our house.
The NCA’s Wallmeyer urged all 500 NCA members to donate in an email sent Saturday afternoon.
“ClubsHelp and NCA draw on the powerful network of golf course owners, club managers, golf course architects and golf professionals, members and business partners to assist them,” Wallmeyer said. . “I know our community will be there to support them now.”