Inaugural golf scramble to benefit new scholarship fund


Growing up a few blocks from Seymour Country Club, Richard “Dick” Elmore earned money as early as age 7 serving as a caddie.

That experience turned into a lifelong love of golf.

“That’s where his love for the game developed,” his daughter, Dody Bowman, said. “He just would do that to earn money but then also just watching people learn the game. I don’t know that he ever had a professional lesson in his life. I think he was just self-taught and enjoyed the game.”

After graduating from high school in 1955, Elmore worked for a local tool and die company, Kinco. Then in 1967, he opened his own business, Excel Tool and Die, with his partner, Delbert Kilgas.

That operated for more than 50 years, and his sons, Jay and Craig Elmore, were the owners before it closed.

On March 23, 2019, Dick died. He was 81.

As a way to keep his memory alive, his family decided this year to create a fundraiser combining two of his loves: Golf and trades.

The inaugural Richard “Dick” Elmore Golf Scramble is set for June 5 at Shadowood Golf Course, 333 N. Sandy Creek Drive, Seymour. There will be 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. shotgun starts. The cost is $85 per person, which includes lunch and a goody bag. Tee sponsorships also are available for $100. A cash prize will be given to the first- and- second-place teams.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the Richard “Dick” Elmore Scholarship Fund, which will allow a scholarship to be presented annually to a high school senior attending trade or technical school.

Anyone unable to participate in the scramble but interested in donating to the scholarship fund may mail or drop off a donation at the Community Foundation of Jackson County in Seymour.

“Both of my parents have been avid golfers their entire lives, so I feel like my dad’s love for the game of golf was a perfect way to try to do a fundraiser,” Bowman said.

“And choosing to start an endowment with the Community Foundation of Jackson County was a great choice because he always felt like going to a college or a university was awesome, but he just felt like the trade school, though, was lost,” she said. “He sat on the board for Vincennes University and just tried to keep that trade going and alive because it was at the time so viable and people could make a good living going to a trade school or a tech school.”

Bowman noted her father’s work ethic and dedication to golf, as he would work the first part of the day, go home to eat soup and a sandwich and then head to the golf course for a 1 p.m. tee time on a daily basis.

He enjoyed playing in local leagues with his friends and golfing vacations, and he played at courses around the country and even in Scotland.

“Both went hand in hand — doing the golf fundraiser, raising some money and hopefully being able to do a decent amount for a scholarship yearly through the foundation and just keep it going indefinitely,” Bowman said.

She still remembers her father going to school to learn the business side of tool and die.

“My mom, she would ride along to Columbus. He went to night school because he had to work all day, and she would take my sister and I along,” Bowman said. “We were just little, baby and a toddler, and we sat in the car while my dad went to school.”

That paid off, as Elmore lived long enough to celebrate the 50th year of his business.

When he saw trades going to the wayside at his alma mater, he fought to get them back for students.

“My dad would stay on a couple of different school board members all the time. It’s like, ‘Why are you taking that out of the school? Those kids need to learn a trade,’” Bowman said.

In recent years, trades returned to Seymour High School, much to Elmore’s delight.

“He just always wanted to see that thriving,” Bowman said. “He just always felt like these kids do need to learn it. College or a university isn’t for everyone. Trade school and tech school is what he really was trying to keep going.”

Elmore and his wife, Patty, also have been big community philanthropists. They proudly supported Girls Inc. of Jackson County in securing a new facility for the young girls of Seymour in 2008, and their philanthropic efforts benefit many other organizations, including Jackson County United Way, Boys and Girls Club of Seymour, Seymour Main Street and Central Christian Church.

Over the years, Dick also served his community on many boards as an officer or a member.

Now with the scholarship fund and golf scramble named in his memory, Dick continues to make an impact.

“If you’re playing golf and you can raise money for a good cause, why not?” Bowman said.

The golf scramble will always be on the first weekend of June because it’s close to Dick’s birth date, June 4.

“We are going to do it annually,” Bowman said. “I’m hoping we continue to make it grow.”

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