“Once a volunteer, always a volunteer” pretty well describes Don Forth’s life. As a young father he started out coaching his son’s hockey teams before becoming a hockey referee officiating youth and then “old timers”. Don was always interested in stock car racing and in 1968 he was part of the founding group of the Wetaskiwin Stock Car Club (WSCC).
That year the club built the Sunset Speedway just west of Wetaskiwin and Don has been involved at the race track ever since. Don also coached youth bowling for 32 years and still volunteers his time at Western Lanes. Besides that he also donates his time to the Wetaskiwin Icemen Hockey Club. It is because of his varied and enduring volunteer efforts in our community that Don is being inducted into the Wetaskiwin & County Sports Hall of Fame.
Don has been a member of the WSCC since the club’s inception and at one time served as Vice-President. He is the only member of the original club still active and involved at the racetrack. Don was instrumental in the building of the Sunset Speedway. This included creating the clay oval raceway and Don could be seen running equipment and shovelling clay and gravel. On race nights he was the Flagman.
As an octogenarian, Don still flags at the EIR and he can still be found at the raceway during the week helping with new construction and improvements. He also runs the tow truck, is a repairman, helps with test drives and generally carries out jobs that need to be done. To recognize his over 50 years of contributions to the raceway a section of the EIR Grandstands were named after Don Forth at a ceremony in September 2017. Don was and still is a very indispensable person at the EIR.
In the 1970’s, owners of the Bowling Alley encouraged Don to earn his Master Bowler certificate so that he could coach youth bowling. Don became the first Master Bowler in Wetaskiwin. After 32 years of involvement Don retired from coaching however, he still devotes his time to Western Lanes. Don can be found at the front desk handing out bowling shoes, assisting in the oiling of the lanes, working on the machines, helping out with tournaments and just being at the bowling alley ready to assist where needed.
Don has always been an Icemen fan and has consistently attended most of the home games. Because he was always at the games, one of the Board members encouraged him to get involved with the team organization. For the past two years Don has served on the Board of the Icemen and at home games he works the penalty box. Don is a valued member of the “Icemen Team”.
We congratulate Don on his worthy induction into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame. Your community is indebted to you for your service.
The 2020 Induction Dinner will take place on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at the Best Western Wayside Inn Banquet Room in Wetaskiwin. Invitations are open to everyone and banquet tickets are available for purchase at ATB Financial in Wetaskiwin. The deadline for purchasing tickets will be April 8, 2023.
—Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame