Emerald's Crockett Given Paul Allen Award

Track president honored for philanthropic sporting contributions Jan. 22 in Seattle.

Emerald Downs president Ron Crockett was recognized with the 2013 Paul Allen Sports Citizen Award, one of Seattle's most prestigious honors, on the evening of Jan. 22.

The award, made at Benaroya Hall, is 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 UW 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 the University of Washington, 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 said he 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."