The members of the Brownwood Country Club hosted a reception Friday evening, honoring Steve and Vicky Baker. The Bakers became the owners of the facility in December 2013 and the members could not seem more pleased.

Brown County Judge Ray West spoke to the audience, lauding the Bakers' efforts and accomplishments, acknowledging the contributions of the staff, as well. Steve Baker responded by recognizing Vicky as the driving force behind the improvements to the club facilities. The evening progressed with moments of sincere appreciation, framed by much light-hearted ribbing. 

Wrapping up the night, Robert Porter was joined by Putter Jarvis, and Stan and Debbie Cavett, in presenting a certificate to the Bakers, officially inducting them into the Brownwood Mafia. 

"You will notice this is certificate number one," Porter reverently explained, then added, "Others who have received certificate Number One include, Bob Hope, President George W. Bush, Gen. William Westmoreland, the widow of Gen. Douglas MacArthur…" After naming a few others, Porter acknowledged every certificate is numbered One. However, Porter noted the Bakers' certificate is the first to be signed by the husbands and the wives making the presentation.

Porter reminded the audience that everyone who works for the advancement of the Brownwood community is a member of the civic-focused organization and that the Bakers have demonstrated their dedication to that purpose.

_________________

Over the past year, several upgrades, improvements, and modifications have been made to the facilities of the Brownwood Country Club. The first to catch the eye, and the latest addition, is the construction of the "cabana", located between the pool, a new courtyard with fire pit, and the putting practice green. New from the ground up, the building is expected to be completed within the next six weeks.

Leslie Rumfield, events director for the BCC, noted the refinishing of the ballroom and main dining room, as well as cosmetic additions to the patio off the dining room. She also explained the complete demolition of the old swimming pool, replaced with entirely new separate adult and kids' pools, which opened to members on July 4. Both are zero-entry and the kids' pool includes a small slide, a large slide, a rock waterfall, and a rock grotto with waterfall. 

Jeff Hughes, the head golf pro, added that new cart paths have been laid at the first and seventh holes. Hughes said he has begun building a junior high golf team, which is currently comprised of six BISD students. The team begins practicing next week.

"We plan to open that to the other Brown County schools, later," Hughes added, "There is a lot of positive stuff happening here."

Robbi Walker, membership director, and Rumfield promoted the upcoming Valentine banquet, with live entertainment, and said plans are int he works for many more events throughout the year. 

"Most of our events are open to members' entire families," Walker said, "but some will be for the adults only."

"We have installed all new equipment in our kitchen," Rumfield said, "and we have a great restaurant and staff."

The club currently offers seven different membership levels, from a dining and clubhouse use only, to the full membership, which includes access the entire facility. A non-resident membership is available at a deeply discounted rate. Every membership includes spouses and dependent children, up to age 23.

Through the end of January, the club is offering an opportunity for new members to receive a discounted Initiation Fee. With documentation and some restrictions, any amount donated to a local charitable organization will reduce the Initiation Fee by the same amount, up to the entire fee. 

"This promotes giving back to the community," Rumfield said.

Steve Baker credits Vicky with the vision of remaking the Brownwood Club. The investment of time, money, and much hard work, however, by the couple and their staff appears to be paying off, with membership having doubled in their tenure.

Robert Porter said of the Baker's ownership, "That is economic development, in my book. A town the size of Brownwood needs a nice country club and they have certainly provided that."