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Emerald Downs' Crockett honored with Paul Allen Sports Citizen Award
For the Reporter
Emerald Downs President Ron Crockett was recognized with one of Seattle's most prestigious awards Wednesday evening at Benaroya Hall.
Crocket was the winner of the 2013 Paul Allen Sports Citizen Award, given annually to an individual who has made a significant or compelling philanthropic contribution.
In addition to saving the state's Thoroughbred racing industry by building Emerald Downs, Crockett is a longtime benefactor of Seattle Children's Hospital and played a leadership role in raising $50 million for the renovation of Husky Stadium.
Former University of Washington basketball star Quincy Pondexter, whom Crockett mentored during his four years with the Huskies, and 10-year-old granddaughter Lauren Slavin introduced Crockett, who received a standing ovation while making his way to the stage.
A video tribute offered congratulations from a diverse list of subjects, including UW athletic director Scott Woodward, Washington HBPA president Ron Maus, Husky tailback Deontae Cooper and officials from Seattle Children's Hospital.
In accepting the award, Crockett thanked his wife, Wanda, and talked about growing up and attending Renton High School and receiving the McCurdy Scholarship that enabled him to attend UW, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering.
Crockett later founded and owned Tramco, which performs maintenance and modification of airliners, growing the company from five employees in 1970 to 2,500 employees by the time he sold it in 1988.
Crockett believes in philanthropy and is a strong supporter of the UW scholarship program, giving back to his alma mater.
"I attribute my success to my early environment and heredity, thanks to my parents for that, and schooling," Crockett said. "Your greatest asset is your health, take care of that."
Other winners included filmmaker Warren Miller (Keith Jackson Award), Zack Lystedt (Seattle Children's Hospital Inspirational Youth Award) and longtime WSU baseball coach Bobo Brayton (Royal Brougham Legends Award).
UW Volleyball player Krista Vansant was voted Female Sports Star of the Year, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was voted Male Sports Star of the Year, and the Eastlake Little League team of Sammamish won the Sports Story of the Year.