McGuire golf tourney this week
By KLINT SPILLER
Blake McGuire was never a man who forgot his roots.
As a Hays native, McGuire was a longtime and ardent supporter of his alma mater, Fort Hays State University. He was a season ticket holder to FHSU athletics while he lived in Hays, and he was a friend of many of the coaches.
So when he died Nov. 16, 2012, at the age of 61 of health complications, his family remembered those ties. In lieu of flowers, the family asked for all donations be given to a scholarship fund in the McGuire's name.
"They knew how important it was to Blake and his dad, Jim," said FHSU Assistant Athletic Director Tim Callahan.
The scholarship fund, which has existed for more than two decades, is given to FHSU student-athletes, but it is particularly aimed toward golfers since Blake and Jim were avid golfers. Blake McGuire even played for FHSU in the 1970s.
"My brother was as in love with golf as my dad was," said Marilyn McGuire Snider, Blake's sister.
It was because of Blake's dedication to FHSU that the university, with the counsel of the McGuire family, decided to rename the annual "Jim McGuire Scholarship Scramble" so it would include Blake's name.
In 2014, it will be called the "Jim and Blake McGuire Scholarship Scramble," with all funds raised benefiting the scholarship fund.
"Blake was passionate about this tournament because it was a tribute to his father and benefited a department they both cherished," said FHSU women's golf coach Rich Guffey. "I know they both would appreciate knowing the tournament is still going strong and will continue to benefit Tiger athletics."
This year's tournament, the 23rd annual, is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Friday at the Smoky Hill Country Club. Registration starts at 9 a.m.
It costs $135 per person for a four-person scramble. To sign up, contact Callahan by Thursday at (785) 628-4050. Blake's wife Carol McGuire and his daughter Molly Gunter, a former FHSU volleyball player, will represent family this year at the tournament.
The McGuire family had a love for golf that was difficult to match.
Blake's father Jim, who the tournament was originally named, played every day at 1 p.m. regardless of weather, Snider said. Only lightning would scare him off.
Before he died, he asked for his ashes to be scattered across the first tee of a golf course. His family complied and hired a a pilot to scatter the ashes after Blake shot off the first tee.
"We figure he's in heaven playing golf at 1 o'clock," Snider said.
Blake followed in his father's footsteps at 10 years old and played regularly with him.
While in Hays, Blake was a member of First Methodist Church. He graduated from Hays High School in 1969 and FHSU in 1974 with a major in speech.
Snider said Blake enjoyed his time there. He was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, and Snider said he felt a strong loyalty to the school.
"He was a huge Fort Hays supporter," Snider said.