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White Eagle Golf Club Membership Cost

white eagle golf club membership cost
white eagle golf club membership cost

Like most children, 10-year-old Louis Campfield will be thinking of his dad this Father’s Day, but tragically it will be the day after the June 17 celebration of his father’s life is held by members of White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville.

For 29 years, dry-witted Sonny Campfield worked as a restaurant server at White Eagle and welcomed guests with as much enthusiasm as were they coming to his own home. Those guests, who became friends, reciprocrated by raising a staggering $100,000 for Campfield’s family via a Go Fund Me campaign.

Louis “Sonny” Campfield, 61, died unexpectedly last month. A White Eagle institution, not only did the Naperville native remember the names of all 434 members but also their individual membership numbers and their favorite drinks.

“We wanted to do something,” club general manager Curtis Malm said. “We started with a (fundraising) goal of $40,000 because with 434 members giving, say, $100 each, we thought that would be achievable. … I’m not surprised by the outpouring. This community is phenomenal.”

Campfield’s May 18 death has been hard for club members and co-workers alike.

“It was pretty somber here for a few days. It was a loss for the club, both members and staff. It was almost like a reset for people,” Malm said. “This has taught the White Eagle family to remember that life is not guaranteed and to enjoy every day and every person while they are here. Sonny was always going to be here and then he wasn’t.”

Server Sara Atkins said that while Campfield, who lived in Aurora, was the same age as her father, he was her best friend at the club.

“From the moment we met, our personalities clicked,” she said. “He was always so fun to work with. He would say he was a cranky old man but that couldn’t be further from the truth. He was so funny and the hardest worker ever. He was popular with the guests because he knew everyone. If you were here, Sonny was here.”

Atkins said she isn’t surprised by amount of money raised because everyone knew Campfield would do anything for the members.

“A lot of them were genuine friends,” she said. “On my birthday, I asked my co-workers to join my friends at a bar. Sonny came along and five or six of my friends ran up to him because I’d told them so much about him. Sonny said they made him feel like a superstar.”

Member Joe Orednick says Campfield’s passing is a big loss to everyone who knew him.

“We lost a huge personality, and a funny and caring man, and White Eagle will never be the same,” he said. “My relationship with Sonny was unique. We teased each other daily. … I might tell a new server, “Welcome to White Eagle and thanks for taking care of us. Watch Sonny very closely and learn from him; learn everything NOT to do!” He would see my mother or my wife and ask, ‘How do you tolerate living with him … is it a charity thing?’”

Orednick said Campfield played the roles of class clown and consummate professional equally well.

“He knew when to treat a member like a ‘member’ and when to treat someone like family,” he said. “He made every meal or drink a special moment and he could make just about anyone laugh with him or at him. He made the place fun.”

Orednick remembers his stepdaughter meeting Campfield at the club when she about 7. He made such an impression that she wanted to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner.

“He is listed in my phone as Uncle Sonny and I will never delete his contact,” he said. “I am sure stumbling on his name in my phone in a few years will bring a smile but also an emptiness as I know I will miss him. He would love knowing I admit that publicly.”

Ron and Barbara Murtlow first met Campfield more 20 years ago.

“We instantly liked Sonny as he was always upbeat, attentive, remembered our likes and dislikes, and regaled us with his stories for over 20 years,” Murtlow said. “As time progressed, Sonny evolved into our dining friend. He entertained us with his stories of his early years in Naperville, the trials and tribulations of dog ownership, and his rendition of his mother’s early years working in the London theater district during World War II and her meeting Audrey Hepburn.

“In later years he shared stories about his son, Lou, who he adored, and his wife, Tjen, the rock of his life.”

Although Campfield rarely took days off, he was always sure to make time for his son’s baseball games.

“Someday my son will look back at this moment and he will realize how much his dad is loved by the members and staff at White Eagle Golf Club and how the White Eagle Golf Club family takes good care of him,” Tjen Campfield said.

“I don’t know exactly how to express my highest gratitude to the White Eagle Golf Club family. I am speechless. I am in awe,” she said. “I know Sonny is smiling somewhere to see that so many people care for him and his family.”

Hilary Decent is a freelance journalist who moved to Naperville from England in 2007.

hilarydecent@gmail.com