Committees, Former Mayor to be Inducted into Buffalo Hill Hall of Fame

By Beacon Staff

The expansion and finance committees of the 1970’s and former Kalispell Mayor Norma Happ have been named as the 2014 inductees into the Buffalo Hill Golf Club Hall of Fame.

This group was nominated by Larry Simpson and Marlin Hanson, who cited the groups’ outstanding contributions of time, labor, equipment and capital towards the building of the Championship 18-hole golf course.

The two committees, formed in the early 1970’s, had a goal to expand the 18-hole Buffalo Hill Golf Club into a 27-hole facility by building a new 18-hole golf course to stand with the existing Cameron Nine.

The committees, working with the Kalispell Golf Association membership, the City of Kalispell and the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation (BOR), found the land, the volunteer labor, the equipment and the funding to make it a reality. The new 18 holes opened to rave reviews in 1978 and culminated with the grand opening highlighted by the appearance of Arnold Palmer.

Total cost of the project was $876,000, of which $113,000 was land donations and matched by the BOR. Of the remaining amount, $381,500 came from the KGA in the form of donations, donated equipment and debenture sales and the other $381,500 was matching funds from the BOR. These committees worked tirelessly from 1971 through 1978 to make it happen.

The expansion committee included Chairman Hap Simpson, Otis Robbins, Les Harrington, Paul Bowman, Bud Roberts, John Schwartz, Jim Hurst, Harold McLaughlin and Brownie Hartman.

The expansion finance committee included Co-Chairs Harrington and McLaughlin, Bud Manion, Vic Lohn, Gene Gillette, Larry Simpson, Dale Haarr, George Day and Jack Hensley.

The City of Kalispell, with the guidance of Mayor Happ, acted as a conduit between the BOR and the KGA. Not a single dollar of local tax money was expended on the project.

“Though many of these folks are deceased, the Buffalo Hill Hall of Fame would not be complete without the inclusion of these dedicated, community-minded individuals,” Hanson said.

These committees will be formally introduced at the KGA’s annual meeting, April 16. All Buffalo Hill members, past and present, are invited to attend the induction ceremony at the annual meeting to celebrate with the committees’ living members and families of the deceased members.

The Buffalo Hill Hall of Fame, which began in 2011, includes Marv Combs, Jon Heselwood, Gene McGlenn, Dave Morberg and Alice Ritzman.

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