Rath Shelton

Rath Shelton, Hall of Fame Community Leader

Community Leader: “A non-participant who has contributed greatly to sports in the greater Santa Barbara area.” That’s what the SBART has established as one criterion for the selection of his honoree. Editorial comment: add Good person!

Rath Shelton lists as his hobby, “All sports and jazz music.” Jazz? When do you have time for that, Rath? It would be interesting, however impossible, to determine how many athletic events Rath has attended in his almost 50 years in Santa Barbara.

Go to a high school basketball game and look around. You can win a bet putting your money on the fact that Rath Shelton will be there. Or a football game, or a baseball game … get the idea?

It started almost 50 years ago when Rath attended Westmont College. After graduating as a Sociology major, he became their Director of Public Relations. It is very unlikely that there could be anyone in this community who has offered greater support to the young athletes of our schools. It is as though he has adopted every athlete in this town.

Rath serves on the Board of Directors of the SBART, and is chair of the Round Table Luncheon Program. That’s another record that could well be found in his portfolio: attending the greatest number of Athletic Round Table Luncheons.

Having lost his lovely wife Peggy in 1984, Rath has busied himself looking after his four sons and their families: Ron, film writer and director; David, preservationist; Steve, school teacher; and jeff, architect.

Thank you, Rath, for helping create a real sense of community in Santa Barbara.