BLUE HILL — The ninth annual Duane B. Gray Golf Tournament was held this past Saturday, Sept. 10, on a picturesque day at the Blue Hill Country Club.
The tournament, held in honor of George Stevens Academy alum Duane B. Gray, raises money for the GSA Fund, which provides “essential support for all areas of life” at the school. According to school officials, this year’s tournament raised over $17,000, surpassing last year’s total of $16,500-plus and setting a new record for the amount of money raised.
“The nice thing is, it’s one of the first events for the GSA annual fund and it gives it kind of a boost,” said Phyllis Taylor, a former trustee at the school and co-chairperson of the tournament committee. “It’s a nice way to start off the year.”
The tournament began in 2011 as a Homecoming event, becoming the Duane B. Gray Tournament following his death in 2012. Gray, who was the valedictorian of the Class of 1964 at GSA, endeared himself to many in the community as the first pharmacist at Community Pharmacy of Blue Hill, eventually becoming known as “Blue Hill’s pharmacist.”
“We’ve always had a wonderful turnout, I think because people admired Duane,” Taylor said. “It’s a wonderful mixture of the students, the George Stevens golf team is out here, alums, people who live in Blue Hill year-round, and we also have summer people. It’s just been a wonderful community event.”
Community Pharmacy continues to be a main sponsor of the tournament, along with Stanley Subaru, which has provided a free scooter for anyone who can hit a hole-in-one on the fourth hole and Darling’s, who have offered a free car to anyone who can hit a hole-in-one on the ninth hole. This year, none of the 76 golfers was able to sink the clutch shot, though there have been holes-in-one on other, less lucrative holes throughout the tournament’s history.
Libby Rosemeier came within a foot of winning the scooter the first year she entered the tournament in 2013. That was also the year she, her two sisters and her friend, Martha Horne, learned to play golf. They have played in the tournament as a foursome every year since.
“I’m a GSA grad, Class of ’77. My best friend Martha still teaches at GSA. My sisters were also GSA grads. And it means a lot to be here at this tournament,” Rosemeier said. “We all love to golf, and we just really have fun and we love to give to the annual fund any way we can … Everybody’s so into doing something that they love to help out a place that they love.”
Rosemeier retired last year after 31 years as a staff member at GSA, most recently serving as an assistant head of school. She said she tries to play as much golf as she can now that she’s retired, which may give her an edge out on the course. Unfortunately, her team did not end up taking home the top spot in the morning grouping. That honor went to Doug Siebert, Tim Siebert, Terry Siebert and Will Morey, who shot a low gross of 46. The afternoon champions, with a low gross of 50, were David Gray, Mark Gray, Baren Yurchick and Barry Duffy.
For those who play each year, however, winning is not necessarily the goal. It’s really about coming together as a community to support an institution that has touched their lives in some way and to honor the legacy of a man who embodied the ideals of that institution and the community at large.