WITH the Blayney Bowling Club's 2019 closure fresh in the minds of residents in the region, a special community meeting held at Club Millthorpe on Sunday was expected to reveal the same fate for it.
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A small group of 25 people instead heard the news from the committee that the club's financial outlook was on the improve.
"I just want to confirm to everyone that the club is not in the red," treasurer Brad Manuel said. "We don't owe anyone any money at all and we're well and truly in the black."
An audible sigh of relief was heard across the dining room before Mr Manuel went on to explain the ever-evolving financial situation for the club, which has bowling greens, a bar and an auditorium.
"We're in a much better financial situation now than we were 12 months ago," he said. "We're not in debt, we're not insolvent. We've had a number of large events lately that have boosted our bottom line."
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A live music event held on Saturday night featuring local band K'Noath was a big success, with nearly 150 people crowding into the club, but there was just one aspect of the crowd that perplexed the committee.
"We had big support from Blayney and Orange, but only about 10 to 15 here from Millthorpe," club president Darrel Ryan said.
"We're just not getting the 2798 [Millthorpe and surrounds] community supporting us here at the club."
The club has been working with Blayney Shire Council and Central NSW Business HQ in Bathurst to develop ideas that will help keep the momentum going, and to avoid what could be if the club was to falter.
"One option that we don't want to have to consider is simply closing the club," Mr Ryan said.
One other option, if it's ever needed, is to sell off either the top green or the car park to invest into the club, a strategy that would need to be carefully managed, Mr Manuel said.
"If we decided to take that action, it would need to be used to improve the club's facilities, not to fritter away on paying the club's operating costs," he said.
A sub-committee has been formed to generate new ideas for functions and events at the club, and its members are looking for inspiration from the community.
Ideas thrown around at the meeting included film nights for kids, foreign film nights with corresponding cuisines, giving the club a retro 1950s feel to suit its heritage, bowls games for wedding guests between service and reception, dancing lessons, cards and games nights and serving food that is different to what's already on offer in the village.
"The club has huge potential as a place for locals to hold events and as a destination for visitors," Mr Manuel said.
"We need volunteers to help out here as well either behind the bar or with the general operation of the club."
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