GATESVILLE — When he isn’t teaching chess to children and the elderly, Sam Golden might be at a Rotary Club meeting in Copperas Cove or baiting hog traps on his ranch out on Cowhouse Creek.
Since he retired in 1990, Golden, 73, said he has focused on being involved in “my community,” which includes his former home of Gillespie County and his new home of Coryell County. Golden moved to the county three years ago to be near his grandchildren.
Golden is a board member and active volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club of Gatesville. The chess club he started with two children at the old club location has expanded to 15 members at the new club building. He also started a chess club at Hillside Nursing Home, and has started inter-generational competition between players of all ages.
Golden has taken an active interest in the club’s resale shop, which moved Aug. 1 from a 4,000 square foot storefront to a 10,000-square-foot building he owns on Main Street in Gatesville.
“We want the store to be a cash cow for the Boys & Girls Club with a profit of $10,000 a month,” Golden said.
The store offers used clothes, furniture and household items at affordable prices, he said.
“We need more volunteers and more donors,” he said.
Golden recently was named to the Coryell County Economic Development Board.
The retired business executive and entrepreneur brings a wealth of economic-development experience from his years in Fredericksburg, where he was actively involved in Hill Country University Center, the Texas A&M University Pierce’s Disease Research Facility and the Chamber of Commerce. The facility’s research helps the Gillespie County wine industry as the disease affects grape vines.
Despite his background, Golden calls himself “a newbie” in the community.
“I don’t have an ax to grind,” he said. “I am going to keep my mouth shut and my eyes and ears open until I learn the needs of Coryell County.”
He expects the board will be on the lookout for “clean industries that don’t use a lot of water.”
Wherever he is in his broad community, Golden boosts local businesses.“I promote shopping locally,” he said. “I support our local small businesses, because they support our youth and pay taxes in the community.”