A personal Kin-ection to a stellar Edmonton service group


When  Shelley Gosse’s e-mail crossed my screen a few weeks ago inviting me to a Kinette banquet, I asked a special request: “Can I sit with your dad?”

Shelley contacted me about the Kinette Club of Edmonton’s 75th anniversary dinner June 7. And she said her dad, was in fact, Marv Sather.

It was shortly before 11 p.m. one early spring night, back in 1978, when my telephone rang in my west end apartment. Given the late hour I anticipated bad news. Marv introduced himself from the Kinsmen Club of Edmonton and asked if I could be at the Edmonton Plaza Hotel — now the Westin — for 7:30 a.m. the following morning.

“It’s kind of important you be there,” Marv said in his soft voice.

Turned out I had been nominated for a Kinsmen Salute to Youth award with 500 Edmonton high school students. I was very humbled and proud to be included in the top five finalists.

Breakfast the next morning was just the start to an unforgettable day. Edmonton used to have a sportsmen’s dinner put on by the Kinsmen and the five winners of the  Salute to Youth award were introduced at the dinner that evening.

I’ve been a big hockey fan all my life. Dick Irvin of Hockey Night in Canada was guest speaker and I had the honor of meeting him.

Salute to Youth gave me a boost when, perhaps, I needed  one. When I received it I was a month away from finishing the Radio and Television Arts program at NAIT. I was uncertain of my future and was a little scared.

But after I got the award I had this underlying new confidence that I would be OK.  In fact, just a little over a year after, I began my career in the newspaper business and am blessed to be still in it.

salute to youth

…getting my award in 1978 from former Alberta provincial minister Al Adair

Marv and I talked about that — and many more things — as we sat at the same table Saturday. He’s now 72 and still has a real estate company he runs out of his house.

Marv is a proud Kinsmen at heart. Over the many decades he has been in Kinsmen activities and has leant a hand in fundraising efforts. The Kinsmen and Kinettes have impacted so many people in Edmonton. His wife Sandi is a lifetime member of the Kinette Club of Edmonton — the same distinction their Shelley received Saturday night.

“Salute to Youth is still going strong today,” he said.

I was very pleased to hear that. Because it means more young  Edmontonians are going to given so much than the award itself.

They’re going be given so much more … and subtly reminded that the best is yet to come. 


Kinsmen Club of Edmonton

Kinette Club of Edmonton

Edmonton Sun Tait on 8 column on the Kinettes

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