The name Bob Morgan evokes memories of a gentleman boat racer, a well-respected international competitor who called the Lake of the Ozarks home. His long history of offshore and local racing came to an abrupt end on Nov. 9, 2011, when he and fellow racer Jeffrey (J.T.) Tillman were killed in the Key West Super Boat World Championships.
Morgan and others are credited with helping start the Lake Rescue Shootout 25 years ago, and Morgan was an integral part of the charity event until his death. He kept interest in the Shootout alive by showcasing match races with his son Robbie and other fellow racers in his 46-foot Skater named Big Thunder, the namesake of the business he and his wife, Sue, owned for several years.
Morgan's legacy in the racing world and at the lake will be captured as part of a Hall of Fame Memorial that will be built on the grounds of Captain Ron's in Sunrise Beach.
Ron Duggan, whose facility hosts the Shootout, said he's wanted to create a memorial to Morgan and a Hall of Fame for Shootout honorees for several years. The Shootout is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, an appropriate opportunity to unveil the memorial to Morgan and the Hall of Fame.
"We thought it would be a good year to get it started," Duggan said. "I wanted to do something on the property for Bob, something unique. Something people will see year around, and not just during the summer months or at the Shootout."
His wife, Sue, will be given the honors of unveiling the memorial during opening ceremonies of the Shootout on Saturday, Aug. 24.
He and the Shootout Committee have worked out preliminary details for a design and a capital fundraising campaign involving the purchase of sponsorship bricks as part of the Hall of Fame area.
"The Hall of Fame will be for people who have had some kind of impact on the Shootout over the years," he explained. "The committee is taking suggestions on possible inductees. They won't be limited to racers. It could be a volunteer, or an organizer or anybody who has had an impact on the Shootout. We could have several the first couple of years."
The Hall of Fame/Memorial will be constructed in a grassy area near the kids' playground and the volleyball courts adjacent to Captain Ron's. It will be made of bricks and will be circular in shape with a bust of Morgan and his boat in the center. The 25 Top Guns will be showcased with plaques on the side facing the racecourse. On the other side will be the Hall of Fame inductees.
The walkway leading to and from the Hall of Fame/Memorial will be made of two sizes of sponsorship bricks, which can contain three lines of text. For example: Ron Duggan/Captain Ron's/Sunrise Beach. The bricks will sell for $75 for a 4x8-inch brick, or $150 for an 8x8. Duplicates will be available for anyone wanting an additional brick.
Page 2 of 2 - In addition, 4x8 and 8x8 bricks will be sold for the face of the two-foot-tall circular wall surrounding the memorial to Morgan. These will sell for $150 and $300 respectively and will be sold only one time, with sales ending about two weeks before the structure is built in mid-August.
Net proceeds from the sale of the bricks will be donated to the Shootout.
Hall of Fame dinner
The names of the honorees will be unveiled during a Hall of Fame dinner on Thursday, Aug. 22, at Cannon Smoked Saloon on Highway 5 in Sunrise Beach.
The dinner, at $20 per ticket, will precede a live auction and the announcement of the Hall of Famers, which will be open for public viewing. Half of the cost of a dinner ticket will be donated to the Shootout as well.
Duggan said several of the details are tentative and could change over the next two months.
The Shootout has expanded to 10 days and includes several events leading up to the actual timed-competition in several classes Aug. 24-25.
For more details on the Hall of Fame/Memorial and the race, see www.lakeoftheozarksshootout.org.