Written by: William Holtz
The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout is a spectacle like no other and likely the # 1 event of the year at Lake of the Ozarks. Last year, in the event’s 30th year, The Shootout raised over $300,000 for 42 local charities and fire departments. Yea, $300,000. This event is crucial for many charitable organizations and the local fire departments to get through the fiscal year, As we approach the 31st Annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, we sat down with Ron Duggan, President of Lake of the Ozarks Shootout. Duggan was recently named part of the 2019 Bob Morgan Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Hall of Fame inductee class and has been the driving force in the event’s growth in attendance and popularity. We caught up with Duggan about what he expects for the 31st Annual Lake of the Ozarks Shootout as well as his induction into the Bob Morgan Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Hall of Fame.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Family is most important to me. I am married to my wonderful wife Nicole and we have 4 children between us. Our oldest son Michael and his wife Sarah live in Kansas City. Our second son Mark and his wife Sarah and our two granddaughters, Libby and Sally live in Memphis. Our third son Colton is a senior at Macks Creek High School and our daughter, Brooklyn will be in 7th grade at Macks Creek. We had a daughter, Mariah, who passed away last October. She would have been 21 this last April. I have been a lake resident since 1983 moving here to go into business with my father in the Title Insurance and Escrow Closing business and have been doing that for 36 years. I enjoy boating and playing golf, but unfortunately I don’t get to do that much. I have always enjoyed coaching my kids AAU basketball teams and will be going into my second year of coaching high school basketball at Macks Creek.
How did you get your start at Lake of the Ozarks?
Well, I have been a lake resident since 1983 when I moved here to go into business with my father. He was in the title insurance and escrow closing business and I have been doing that for 36 years. My wife Nicole and I bought an old run down restaurant (Kula Bay) in November of 2006. My idea was to build condominiums at that location. However, I was convinced to operate the restaurant for a year before I tore it down, so that’s how I got into the restaurant business. We did tear it down a year later, but only to build what is now Captain Ron’s.
How did the Shootout grow to what it is today?
Before we built Captain Ron’s, we were told about an opportunity to host the Shootout. We thought big picture and I gathered some friends and business associates and after several months of planning and meetings, we landed the Shootout. Most of the original group represents the current Board of Directors and we have been together for 12 years now putting on this event. It’s been amazing to see a plan carried out and the growth realized from what this event could be. Everyone has worked so hard to make it into the vision that we all had in the beginning. Now with over 750 volunteers its turned into a monster. A big wonderful monster, that is.
What is your favorite part of the annual event?
My favorite part of the Shootout is and probably always will be the look on people’s faces that are impacted by the checks that are handed out. You know you are part of something really special at that moment.
Do you have a favorite memory?
One of my favorite memories after the first year was almost in the books, was having a gentlemen come up to me during the last day of racing and say, “I told everyone you couldn’t pull this off, and I was wrong. This is the best run event I’ve ever been to.” That was a pretty proud moment of mine and said volumes of the people that I was working with.
What’s it mean to see the amount donated eclipse $300,000?
Seeing the $300,000.00 number last year was pretty special. I knew we could get to that type of number and honestly I know we can do more. My goal was always to get to $250,000 by year 10. We didn’t quite get there that year, but certainly made up for it last year.
Do you think the amount raised in 2019 will be more than in 2018?
I do. With the work Christy Jansen and some of our incredible volunteers are doing behind the scenes, that’s the goal. We feel like we have more community support along with our sponsors and this year we hope to raise even more.
What’s your induction into the Bob Morgan Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Hall of Fame mean to you?
Being inducted with this amazing group of people is pretty special. I’ve always wanted to honor those that made this all possible, especially in the beginning years, and we’ve tried to do that. There are so many people that deserve this honor and I hope I’m always a part of making sure that we recognize every single one of them.
The Lake of the Ozarks Shootout is already underway with the races being held on Saturday & Sunday, August 24th & 25th. The home to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout is Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill in Sunrise Beach. The mini events are already underway and really pick up with the Wish On A Ride Event on Sunday, August 18th. To find out more about all the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout events, mini events, video, and the latest news, click here: https://mylaketv.com/shootout/