Red Hat Program

Red Hat Program in Region “F”un

What is the Red Hat Program?  It’s a Rider Education recognition program that starts with the Chapter Educator.  The program also recognizes outstanding members who have contributed to Rider Education advancement in the Region or for GWRRA.

Here is how it works and we are hoping that all Districts will adopt these guidelines and start presenting hats.

Grey Hat: A Chapter Educator once they are approved by the District Educator with concurrence by the Region Educator.

Blue Hat: A District or Region Educator once they are approved.

Red Hat: This is a recognition program that happens yearly, so long as there are qualified candidates, by a nomination process to the Region Educator.  Here are the criteria used to determine a nomination:

·         Those individuals who through their efforts on behalf of safe practices in rider education have shown a special interest in their fellow riders;

·         Honoree has spent at least three years involved in rider education, holding an educator position or instructor in safety courses where his/her efforts have assisted in the development of skills and abilities that promote safety in the riding community;

·         The honoree may have performed an exceptional act on behalf of rider education, promoting good riding, or perhaps save a life as the results of his/her efforts.  He/she may not have been in an educator position at the time of this event;

·         The honoree is nominate by a member or members of the riding community for this award;

·         Up to the Region Education as to the number of hats that can be presented per year – (there may be a year that no one is nominated/presented – this should be noted on the “Red Hat Honor Roll);

·         If a couple is presented this award – it is considered as one hat (the spouse/partner is equally active in the rider education field or contributed in an exceptional manner).

So what is the history of this program?  This program started as a recognition program by the then Arizona District Educators Gene and Rae Ellsworth in 1994.  Their objective was to make Educators stand out so that a member could easily identify an Educator if they had a question either about the Rider Education Program or safe riding.  The Grey and Blue Hats were also to say thank you to those who are serving the members in the role of Educator.  When it started in Arizona and then the Region, the Region was only 4 states/Districts large where today it is 7 states/Districts + El Paso, TX. 

The Red Hat became our award for outstanding excellence on behalf of rider education for the membership, and all motorcyclists in general – a person who had served this field over a prolonged period of time – you will see on the honor roll, that not all were Chapter Educators, but had served many years or done something above and beyond on behalf of rider safety.

To recognize a special group of riders, Gene and Rae had a “Million Mile” hat made and a total of 13 of those have been given out as of 2010.  This hat is a black hat.  The recognition included the hat and a million mile rocker.  The use of GWRRA’s High mileage program is the foundation for the mileage but we encourage members to let us know when they have achieved this milestone as well.

So we want to continue to recognize our Educators and those who contribute to Rider Education in Region “F”un.  Please contact your Educator if you wish to nominate someone for the RED HAT and we’ll see who we present the hats to at our next Region “F”un Convention!