2000 GWTC Hall of Fame Tom Perkins

Presented by Charlie Yates

It is a pleasure and an honor for me to try and convey to the attendees tonight a measure of the bewilderment and ultimate excitement that I experienced the evening of February 1, 1999 when I was humbled by an unanticipated introduction as the newest member of the Gulf Winds Hall of Fame.  Last year I missed the only awards meeting in recent memory as I was in a therapy center where my then new hip and I were getting used to each other.  Forgive my digression.  That’s enough history. 

Tonight we pause to recognize a person who has quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) been a paragon of participation in the activities of our running, jogging and walking community as well as other towns in the United States and foreign lands.  At all times this person has stood tall and in the forefront as a member of Gulf Winds Track Club.  Does that suggest that he is a championship runner?  Not exactly.  Does that suggest that this person is being recognized because he is consistently a Grand Prix age group winner?  Well, not exactly that either.  Is this person one of our runners who is a great volunteer, exceeded only by Bill Lott in that category?  Well, that is probably only a mild stretch, but really, not that either.   Well, confounded, is he a great past president of Gulf Winds?  Heavens, NO!  Well, just what is it that singles him out for this very, very special award? Let us start with volunteering.   If it could be physically possible to be in two or three places at the same time, just to help, he would have done it.  I could name dozens of events that he has directed or physically assisted with in a variety of capacities.  Guaranteed.  If his schedule permitted him to be involved with the Summer Track program, he was there.  In addition, if his schedule permitted him to run in marathons like Disney or the Marine Corp. or even Ultra Distance events, he was there.  If that is not enough, when he could he participated in Biathlons, Triathlons and just about anything you can name.  You mean he has been a race director?  Hah! Has been and still is.  Who do you think “invented” the one mile run at Springtime?  Well, has he been a member of the Board of Gulf Winds Track Club?  Get real.  Has been and still is.  Truly, this man’s contribution to the sport and to Gulf Winds simply cannot be measured. 

I love Fran McLean’s summary of this man:  “A No. 1 guy.”   So now we play the trump card and I say to you, please help me recognize the newest member of the Gulf Winds Hall of Fame, the ever popular director of the 5K Cookie Run and director of this year’s Springtime 10K, my favorite “teddy bear” Tom Perkins.