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President Bush given Dave Marr award

Someplace Tuesday night, Dave Marr was smiling.

Part of that sly Texas-size smile of the late Dave Marr would have been due to the fact that former United States President George H. Bush was the sixth recipient of the Dave Marr Memorial Award, presented annually by Shell Oil Company.

Marr also would have appreciated the celebration of golf and dedication to charity exhibited by the event. More than 200 people attended the private ceremony where Rob Routs, president of Shell Oil, honored Bush for his continued commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism across the world.

"George Bush is both a golfer and a philanthropist," said Routs. "With his dedicated commitment to charity and the community, he will continue the legacy of Dave Marr."

While Bush has never hit a shot in a PGA Tour event, he is an avid golfer who lives the ideals Marr strived to emulate. Like the former club pro who supported the Houston community long after retiring from competitive play, Bush has remained a leading force in philanthropic projects.

Bush founded the Points of Light Foundation, an organization whose mission is to engage more people effectively in volunteer service to help solve serious social problems. Among other organizations, he also supports the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M and M.D Anderson Cancer Center.

In addition, Bush is the honorary chairperson of The First Tee program that is committed to influencing the lives of young people around the world by creating affordable and accessible golf facilities.

"There are a lot of wonderful things that happen to you when you have been President," Bush said during the ceremony. "I can tell you this is an award named for a true gentleman who was a hero in the game of golf. I'm proud to accept the award."

"Dave was a fierce competitor. He was a true sportsman and one of the great Texas golf pioneers. He also was a kind soul who touched our lives and left his mark in countless positive ways."

The Dave Marr Memorial Award salutes individuals who have made a lasting impression on both the game of golf and the communities in which they live. Shell commissioned the Dave Marr Memorial Award in honor of Marr, the longtime PGA Tour player and broadcaster, who died Oct. 5, 1997, after losing his battle with stomach cancer.

Past winners of the award were all legends of the game, including Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus, Judy Rankin and Gary Player.

Marr certainly was comfortable with that crowd. During the 1965 season, Marr won the PGA Championship, played on the Ryder Cup team and was named PGA Player of the Year.

He later served as an announcer for ABC, NBC and the BBC, as well as hosting "Shell's Wonderful World of Golf" from 1993-1997.

 

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