First female NFL referee to visit Kingston in support of BGC South East

Shannon Eastin became the first female NFL ref in 2012. Photo via Shannon Eastin’s official website.

The first female referee in the National Football League (NFL), Shannon Eastin, will be in Kingston for a book signing of a memoir, LADY REF: Making Calls in a Man’s World, on Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2024.

According to a release from BGC South East, Eastin is in Kingston to support the 14th Annual Making a Difference Speakers Series, a signature fundraiser for the organization, which will raise funds for the McClement Family Sports League.

The Making a Difference Speakers Series is an annual event, and this year involves an inspiring talk by Eastin for 1,000 students at a local high-school event, and 250 corporate guests at a sold-out gala, detailing her journey.

“The gala fundraiser funds the high-school event, with all remaining proceeds going towards our free Sports Leagues for over 500 local youth,” said Amanda Guarino, Director of Resource Development and Communications for BGC South East, in response to Kingstonist inquiries.

“This is the 14th year [for the speaker series], showcasing the many years we have been making a difference in local youth, having different speakers provide messages of resilience, leadership, environmental awareness, and more. Our goal is to raise $50,000 to fund our free sports leagues, the only of its kind in Kingston.”

Shannon Eastin broke barriers by becoming the first woman Division I referee and the first woman NFL official in 2012. According to BGC South East, she continues to inspire people through speaking engagements and charitable events. For years, she has served as the director of officials for the Canyon Athletic Association (CAA). Through the CAA, she assigns, trains, and mentors officials of all ages.

Eastin was a member of the Boys and Girls Club of America programs during her childhood, which contributed to shaping her path, BGC noted. Eastin has stayed connected with BGC, volunteering at Sports Leagues. Eastin’s memoir, LADY REF: Making Calls in a Man’s World, shares her journey to becoming the first woman to work as an NFL official.

The book signing will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at Indigo in the Cataraqui Centre.

Learn more about Shannon Eastin and her book on her website.

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