From the lead organizer of the annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout to its perennial fastest man in the top-speed event’s deckboat category, tonight’s six inductees into the Bob Morgan Memorial Hall of Fame represented a cross-section of the very best of what has made the Central Missouri event so special for the past 30 years. More than 150 people attended the induction ceremony at the Cannon Smoked Saloon venue, which saw Shootout lead organizer Ron Duggan, deckboat-driving legend Brad Rowland, four-time Top Gun team owner Don Onken, longtime competitor Charlie Schaefer, course director Kent Morris and publisher David Leathers receive the prestigious honor.
The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Bob Morgan Memorial Hall of Fame class of 2019: (from left) Ron Duggan, Charlie Schaefer, Kent Morris, Brad Rowland, Don Onken and (represented by Lisa Larson) David Leathers.
With the notable exception of Duggan, none of tonight’s inductees is particularly fond of public speaking and that was reflected in their short but sweet acceptance speeches. Schaefer called his induction “the biggest honor of his life.” Rowland described his Shootout experiences as “great, just great.” Representing Leathers who had to miss the event for personal reasons, Lisa Larson of Showcase Publishing described him as “humbled and honored to play a part in the biggest fundraiser in the Lake of the Ozarks community.”
After dancing his way to the podium, Morris credited the water patrol and the “great relationship” he has with them, and in particular thanked Shootout co-founder and Osage Beach Fire Department chief—and fellow Shootout Hall of Famer—Jeff Dorhauer for his support and guidance.
Well known to be a man of few words, American Ethanol team owner Onken did nothing to tarnish his reputation during his acceptance speech tonight, which he started with “We’re not very good at this” and ended with “I’m not a talker.” After thanking his family and all the Shootout volunteers, Onken and exited the stage to hearty applause.
But Duggan, a self-described “bit of a crier” who has been the event’s lead organizer for the past 12 years, brought down the house.
“There are three things I like to talk about,” he said. “My family and kids, basketball and the Shootout. It’s such an honor. When you see what it does for this charities in this area, you really understand it.”