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Awards and Honors

Entrepreneur's Legacy Funds Scholarships
by Gail Matsunaga


From Dateline (March 13, 2003)

John Guthrie
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.

“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.'”

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 program.”

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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