Last week saw an end to the frenzy of mineral-rights leasing that enthralled Tarrant County during the past year but maybe not to charitable contributions tied to the Barnett Shale boom. On Oct. 16, more than 300 people attended 360Northwest Gives Back at Delaney Vineyards and Winery in Grapevine. And South Burleson’s Community of Gas Lease Holdouts on Oct. 23 donated $12,000. to the Harvest House in Burleson, a community distribution center for the needy
At the 360Northwest affair, a raffle and silent auction, boosted by a $10,000 grant from Chesapeake Energy, resulted in $25,000 in contributions that will be split between GRACE and FBC Euless Freestone Housing Revitalization Project. GRACE provides food, clothing and other assistance to residents facing financial challenges. FBC Euless Freestone is a collaboration of the city of Euless, First Baptist Church of Euless, Restoration Church and Life Connection Church that repairs and updates homes for needy residents. Dan Delph, lead organizer of the charity event, said the turnout "exceeded our greatest expectations." Chesapeake’s Leah King said it was the first time the company is aware of that a neighborhood leasing group came together to share part of lease bonuses with a not-for-profit organization. 360Northwest Coalition, representing more than 3,400 property owners and 1,500 acres in Euless and Grapevine, endorsed a mineral-rights lease from Chesapeake in July that paid a bonus of $23,500 an acre and a 25 percent royalty.
In Burleson, the all-volunteer Holdouts group, headed by Bill Mahanay and his wife, Pat, collected fees of $25 to $100 to cover expenses such as advertising, legal and accounting fees. And from the beginning, Mahanay stated that any funds left over would be given away to charity. The major portion of the remaining funds were given Thursday night to Harvest House at the City Council meeting at the Burleson City Hall. Smaller amounts will be distributed to the five churches who helped the group achieve their goal of a fair market price for leases in the area. The resulting lease bonus of $27,200 per mineral acre was more than 18 times the amount originally offered when the group began in the
Chesapeake also pledged $500,000 to Benbrook on Saturday toward expansion of the Benbrook Community Center and YMCA. The company gave the first $100,000 of that commitment to the city at the second annual Heritage Fest, which celebrates the city’s incorporation in 1947.
Chesapeake’s Julie Wilson said the company’s contribution recognizes "the importance to expand the often-cramped quarters of the Community Center/YMCA, a popular workout facility and meeting place that is also used as a needed shelter in times of emergencies."
-- Jim Fuquay