Kinsmen announce elite lineup

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Katie Brickman
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Gilmour headlines sports banquet

Bigger and better.

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By Katie Brickman

That is the mindset chairman Kirk Olson and the Moose Jaw Kinsmen Club bring when planning for the annual sports celebrity banquet.

“We keep topping the charts for this with some of the bigger guys,” said Olson.

The 22nd annual event will feature veterans of the Canadian Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.

Three-time Grey Cup winner Geroy Simon will be on hand for the dinner on Feb. 1 at the Heritage Inn.

The master of ceremonies will be Scott Morrison from Sportsnet.

Also in attendance will be World Series winner Devon White and headlining the evening will be NHL alumni Doug Gilmour.

Morrison is a 30-year veteran sports journalist and broadcaster. After 22 years are a reporter, columnist and sports editor with the Toronto Sun, he joined the Sportsnet team. He is currently an executive producer for hockey and appears as an insider on HockeyCentral and Sportsnet Radio. He is also a feature writer for Sportsnet magazine and contributor on sportsnet.ca

“Scott Morrison is a very good entertainer on TV. Everyone is excited to have him as our MC,” said Olson.

Simon is the CFL’s all-time reception leader, surpassing after Ben Cahoon’s record in 2013.

After spending two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, he joined the B.C. Lions in 2001, where he went on to break several records. Simon won the CFL’s most outstanding player award in 2006 and 2011.

“Our first speaker will be (one of) this year’s Grey Cup champions and all-time reception leader, Geroy Simon,” said Olson.

The California Angels drafted White in the sixth round in 1981, but it wasn’t until 1987 when the center fielder stepped into the spotlight. He won seven Gold Glove awards in his 16-year career.

White played for the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1990s, where he won two World Series. In 1997, he won his final World Series with the Florida Marlins and later retired with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2001.

The headliner for the event is Gilmour, an intense but gritty player who earned the nickname Killer from teammate Brian Sutter.

“Out of the four people, Doug Gilmour is probably one of the biggest draws that we are going to have,” said Olson. “There are a lot of Leaf fans out there. Everyone loves Doug Gilmour. He had quite a career.”

The St. Louis Blues drafted Gilmour in 1982 in the seventh round. He won a Stanley Cup with the Calgary Flames, scoring the winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens in 1989. He was then traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1992 where he set a franchise record 127 points and was awarded the Frank Selke Trophy.

Gilmour retired in 2003, with 450 goals and 964 assists to his credit and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.

The organizing committee usually begins working with an agent in October to decide which stars will be coming to the banquet. It usually takes about two to three months for the whole process to be complete, Olson explained.

 “We usually try and have a football, baseball and hockey star just so that we cover all the sports fans out there. We want to have a wide range,” stated Olson.

Over the past 22 years, the Kinsmen Club has raised an approximate $200,000 to $250,000 with 100 per cent of those funds staying within the community.

Last year, they raised close to $50,000.

“We support over 20 youth programs and initiatives around town,” said Olson.

Tickets are now on sale for $150 per person and corporate tables of eight are available for $1,200. Doors opens at 5 p.m. and the program begins at 6 p.m. There will be a silent auction of items as well as a live auction, but items haven’t been fully determined yet.

Those interested in getting tickets are call or text Cory Olafson at 306-631-8893 or Olson at 360-631-3987.

Follow me on Twitter @katiebrickman.

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