The Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce is gearing up to launch its Grow Northwest capital campaign Sept. 15, which the organization hopes will raise about $3.2 million for improvements in its service area over the next four years.
"For four decades now, the Houston Northwest Chamber has been the go-to place for this community," Chamber President Barbara Thomason said. "Now it's time to take bold steps to address three key priorities in the Cypress Creek community."
An improvement plan that began with stakeholder workshops about a year ago, the initiative hopes to address safety and security, economic development and community branding, said Juan Fresquez, chairman of the chamber board and member of the campaign committee.
Fresquez, also the COO of Houston Northwest Medical Center, said the medical provider plans to make a substantial donation to the campaign.
"We have endorsed the Grow Northwest campaign and are making a significant financial contribution and investment to the campaign," he said. "We have confidence that Houston Northwest Medical Center will see a return on the investment over the four-year project period."
Campaign Director Anne Vallette said although the eight-week capital campaign will not launch until Sept. 15, several significant stakeholders have already agreed to contribute donations, including Frost Bank and Houston Methodist Willowbrook Center.
Local community leaders have also endorsed the campaign, including Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Klein ISD Superintendent Jim Cain and Ray Laughter, vice chancellor of external affairs for the Lone Star College System, Vallette said.
She said all of the members of the chamber's board of directors and the members of the campaign committee have also donated to the campaign.
"We all need to invest in our future, we all need to roll up our sleeves and we all need to open up our check books to make this possible," Vallette said.
The chamber announced the launch of the upcoming campaign following a chamber luncheon Sept. 11. Dozens of community leaders attended to show their support for the community improvement plan, including Cagle. The commissioner said the region is growing with 13 new neighborhoods approved at the last commissioners court meeting and 19 new neighborhoods approved a month prior.
"And when those folks come, we have to educate them, we have to [provide] cultural arts [for] them, we have to give them jobs," Cagle said. "And we can do this if we work together hand in hand with love for our community."
Vallette said it is unknown how much has been raised for the plan thus far. The breakdown of the estimated cost to fund the plan's priorities includes $1.65 million for safety and security, $883,000 for economic development and $610,000 for community image and marketing.
Once funding has been raised, some improvements could be implemented as early as mid-2015.
For more information on the improvement plan or the capital campaign, visit www.growhoustonnw.com.