Entrepreneur's Legacy Funds Scholarships
by Gail Matsunaga
From Dateline (March 13, 2003)
“I wanted to keep her name going,” says
Guthrie when asked about his reason for setting up the endowment.
He explained that during his grandmother's 100th birthday
celebration at Summit House Restaurant in Fullerton, she received
“so many flower arrangements of every size. We ended up selling
all the vases in a garage sale.” When Faith died two years
later, Guthrie said, “People asked, 'can we send flowers?'
and I said, 'no.'”
|John Guthrie, pictured here beside one
of the many CD jukeboxes his G&G Amusement Co. provides
to restaurants and bars, recently set up the Faith Guthrie
Endowment Scholarship in honor of his grandmother, who
founded the business in 1952. The scholarship will recognize
an outstanding full-time business administration major
and single parent.
She was among the best
in her business - providing jukeboxes, pool tables, video
games and pinball machines to restaurants and bars for almost
50 years. An icon to her fellow vendors, she started
G&G Amusement Co. as a 52-year-old single mother. And
although business students will not have the privilege of
meeting Faith Guthrie - who passed away just over a year ago
- they will benefit from her legacy, thanks to an endowed
scholarship in her name.
Established by Guthrie's grandson, John Arthur Guthrie -
who, with his wife, Dana, own and operate G&G - the Faith
Guthrie Endowed Scholarship will recognize an outstanding
full-time business administration major and single parent.
Donations from friends, family and business acquaintances
have contributed to the scholarship, the first recipient of
which will be named in the fall.
It was Guthrie's mother-in-law, Titan alumna
Faye Alms Sullivan, who suggested an endowment. As for deciding
on Cal State Fullerton as recipient, Guthrie explains, “Grandma
lived in Fullerton, and Cal State Fullerton has a good business
Faith Guthrie was born in 1899 in Ottawa, Kan. One
of her earliest recollections was seeing a Wright Brothers demonstration
flight of one of their early airplanes. At age 24, she moved to
Southern California to help her aunt run a sanatorium. When that
business failed, she worked for a bank and in 1927, married Walter
Harry Guthrie. They had one son, John Walter. Following her divorce,
Guthrie distributed the Los Angeles Times to newsstands and homes.
G&G Amusement took root when she bought 10 cigarette
machines and 90 cartons of cigarettes for $1,203, money she had
saved delivering newspapers. From that humble start - plus
a determined and hard-working attitude - she built G&G
into one of the region's biggest jukebox routes, frequently
outlasting and buying out her competitors along the way.
What was it like working with his grandmother, who
also raised him? “We got into some knock-down, drag-out fights,”
says Guthrie. “But at home, it was completely different. We
kept things separate.”
Aside from a successful business, Faith Guthrie also
passed along to her devoted grandson some sage advice given to her
by her own father. “She said, 'don't ever make a promise you
can't keep. Even if it kills you, keep your promise.'”
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