If you ever met Doug Boone, you were a friend for life.
The late father of Manchester University men's and women's golf coach Tara Boone and her brother Derek, Doug had a personality and smile that were equally larger than life. Stricken with cancer during the 2014-15 academic year, he passed in February 2016.
His spirit for giving back and paying it forward continues with a special event in his honor every August. His wife, Terri, and children came up with the idea of a memorial golf outing due to his love of the game, especially at Norwood Golf Course in the family's hometown of Huntington, Ind. and helping others.
"[Dad] gave back so much during his life," Derek noted. "He instilled those ideals in us at an early age due to the faith we had through a Catholic church upbringing. We were always told to volunteer when possible."
"There wasn't anything he wouldn't do [for someone else]," Tara reflected. "He got us together to serve meals to people who were shut-in or didn't have the resources to have a meal as an example. He also was part of similar efforts through his work with the Knights of Columbus."
The family carries on that tradition, paying it forward by taking the proceeds of the outing and donating them to an area family who has a child fighting pediatric cancer.
"There are so many costs that you don't think about," Tara said. "You go out to eat; you're on the road from hospital to hospital; you need places to stay … these are beyond the medical bills. It doesn't matter to us how the funds are used, as we don't give them to any friends or extended family as we feel it would be seen as playing favorites, or we might overlook someone."
"Hey, if [the families receiving the tourney proceeds] want to take a vacation to get away, then they should," she added. "We understand every little thing counts [in the fight]."
In just its third year, the outing has been exceedingly popular reminiscent of the individual it memorializes. Thirty-six teams played in year one, and 34 hit the links in year two which featured 40 hole sponsors. Despite still being a month out from the 2018 event, the field has been extended to 42 teams and continues taking hole sponsorships.
"[Dad] had a lot of friends and the community has come out in support [of the outing]," Derek said. "No matter how the day goes, we just want to keep this going and be able to continue helping others."
Adding more and more friendships, service opportunities and memories for the Boone family … just as Doug would have wanted.