Buck’s A&W, SK sports pretty much synonymous

In this season of giving, we need to give thanks to Rick and Karen Gehring and Buck’s A&W.

The Gehrings, owners of Buck’s A&W have given selflessly to the community of Port Orchard.

Any of us that have ever been involved in local athletics have been touched by the their generosity.

They are the definition of passionate in their support of all our local teams, and one need only walk through the doors of Buck’s to appreciate the magnitude of this passion.

The walls of Buck’s are a tribute to teams from the smallest peewees to the Wolves of South Kitsap: every signed T-shirt, jersey, or singlet, from every imaginable team, tell a story of achievement and pay tribute to the athletes and coaches in a way that only Rick and Karen know how to do.

One can see the touch of the Gehring family far outside the walls of Buck’s, reaching back many years.

I remember the “A&W Bear,” handing out treats at a field day at East Port Orchard Elementary in the 1980’s or Rick handing me a stack of teen burger coupons for my high-school team in the 1990’s.

One can see the pictures and posters taken by Rick throughout the locker rooms at the high school.

Rick and Karen’s daughter, Lauren, followed the family tradition as a volunteer assistant coach for the high school girls’ soccer team this fall.

I could list so many wonderful things the Gehrings have done for our athletic community, but the list would fill too many pages to print.

The key to their approach is simple yet critical — what Rick and Karen have done for Port Orchard is to give without ever asking for anything in return.

As a youth sports parent, a former youth and high school coach, and today, on the behalf of any coach or athlete in South Kitsap, I thank you for all you have given to the community of Port Orchard.

Your caring will never be forgotten.

Ed Santos is the athletic director at

South Kitsap High School.

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