In his decade or so involvement with the Mad Anthonys, Bruce Dye saw the moment unfold more than once.
Sunday night was his turn to live it.
The Red Coat the Mad Anthonys annually confer upon their Hoosier Celebrity of the Year was slipped over Dyes shoulders this time, on an evening in which one of the witnessing guests was Gov. Mike Pence.
It was, everyone agreed, high time.
I can think of no one whos more deserving of a Red Coat than Bruce Dye, Mad Anthonys president Don Banowetz said.
Pence, whos acquainted with Dye because of Dyes involvement in Republican politics in the state, agreed wholeheartedly.
Ive had the opportunity to know Bruce Dye for a number of years, and hes a great American success story, Pence said. But hes also a great example of Hoosiers who step up and make it possible through their generosity for all kinds of good works to happen in our communities. I cant think of a better Red Coat winner this year than Bruce Dye for all hes done.
Dye, characteristically, was less effusive.
Its a little interesting because usually theres sports figures that are being recognized, he said. So a little different, but at the same time humbling.
The betterment of both golf and the community in general have been interests of Dyes since he moved to Fort Wayne from his native North Carolina in the early 1980s. During the years since, hes started and sold one business (Heritage Food Service) and become CEO of another (Hotel Fitness), and has been deeply involved with Childrens Hope House, the primary charity of the Mad Anthonys Charity Classic for Children.
Dyes involvement with the former led naturally to his involvement with the latter.
The was a good part of it, said Dye, who last year personally contributed $300,000 to Childrens Hope House, the largest single donation in Mad Anthonys history. But also, when you have a 55- or 56-year-old event that had lost some pizazz, for lack of a better term, I thought I could make a difference. And I wanted to make a difference for Fort Wayne.
And so he was instrumental, changing the format for the Mad Anthonys Pro-Am, bringing in LPGA pros including former Fort Wayne resident Amanda Blumenherst and Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez, and put his companys name on the Hotel Fitness Championship at Sycamore Hills, a Web.com Tour finals event that comes to the city this week.
Thus, his input in the format change.
The impetus was trying to raise more money for charity, Dye said Sunday night. And so trying to figure out a way to get more money into the hands of the charities and especially Hope House, we needed to change the format somewhat. And it continues to evolve into what it is now.
Sunday night, in recognition of that, his wardrobe evolved as well.
The Red Coat participant is someone who has done something spectacular for Indiana, Banowetz said. I think that Bruce absolutely embodies those qualities. He was fortunate to sell his company, and he could have gone anywhere. He stayed here in Fort Wayne. He supported the community and he supported the Mad Anthonys.