Red Jacket Story: The Calgary Booster Club

“The Red Jacket is a symbol of excellence and will showcase Calgary’s Sports Men and Women of the Year who have made a significant contribution to the city’s sports community.”

The Calgary Booster Club will host the 65th Sports Gala Sunday April 15 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park during which 2018 Sportsman of the Year Lawrence King will receive the “Red Jacket” for 50+ years of leadership in track and field, basketball and community endeavours. 

The venerable organization introduced the “Red Jacket” in 2017 when sportsman Jack Gregory and 1969 honouree Doug Kyle became the first members of the unique group; this year the 24 living past sportsmen and women will be inducted during a special reception and will receive their custom tailored “red jackets”.  From the first award recipient in 1954 Eugene (Musty) McGill, a revered hockey coach in West Hillhurst to the present there has always been an enduring theme – love of sport, love of lifelong involvement and love of community.

The concept is similar to the Masters Golf Tournament green jacket awarded to the event champion annually and the NFL Hall of Fame gold jacket given to players and administrators who are “the gold standard of their profession.”

The April 15th Gala will be an exceptional night featuring Calgary’s male athlete of the year Brian McKeever (para-cross country skiing), female athlete of the year Alana Ramsay (para- alpine skiing) and Special Olympics athlete of the year Allie Price (golf) as well as honoured athletic leaders, the top high school and post secondary athletes and recipients of the Bob Freeze sports grant program (athletes 16 and under) and the Art Smith legacy fund program (developing elite athletes).

For over 65 years the Calgary Booster Club has been a major catalyst in encouraging and developing athletic endeavour at all levels and recognizing leadership, distinction and needs in our vibrant community.

The 24 sport leaders who have made Calgary such an outstanding sport city:

1981 Stan Jaycock        1983 Keith Kendal       1986 Marg Southern           1988 Keith Evans

1994 Marg Scott          1995 Joe Shea               1998 Don Phelps                  1999 Bill Warren

2000 Eldon Godfrey    2001 John Semkuly      2002 Jim Courchesne           2003 Frank King

2004 Stan Schwartz    2005 Russ Parker          2006 Jim Holden                   2007 Doug Mitchell

2008 Alf Fischer         2009 Wilf Kaiser           2010 Frank Sisson                 2011 Bob Vickers

2012 Carol Kyle           2013 Tony Spoletini     2014 Christine Hampshire    2015 Joe Massey

Tickets for the 65th Calgary Booster Club Sports Gala are available at  www.calgaryboosterclub.com/sports-gala

David Benson