No one can argue that there is an older organized club – anywhere – dedicated by its charter to University of Florida football and is the “Oldest Gator Booster Club in the World”.
The Club is not affiliated with nor is it an official part of “Gator Boosters, Inc.” - the official fundraising arm of the University of Florida Athletic Association. But, ironically, one of our founders, Colonel Everett Yon, was also the first executive director of Gator Booster’s Inc.
But just how old is “old?” Where did we come from and why are we here? How did we become the first Gator Quarterback Club in Florida and the oldest Gator Booster Club in the World?
In 2014 the Club celebrates its 64th year. It all began on M. M. Parrish's back porch. Back then houses had back porches. "M", Lindley Cellon, Latham Davis, Earl Powers, and Colonel Yon, met often to talk Gator football, and they were always looking for ways to promote interest in the Gators. “M” was an up and coming real estate developer, Lindley a farmer from Alachua. Latham was the local Chevrolet dealer and Earl Powers a prominent CPA/Businessman. The Colonel had recently retired from the Army. They shared one thing in common: Love for the Gators. And so, it all began.
The year was 1950, and the Gator's record was 5-5, so we can appreciate the courage, determination, and loyalty of our founding fathers. The entire decade of the 50's tested Gator loyalty, patience, and dedication. It was in the 50's that "Wait Until Next Year" was first uttered.
Earl Powers presided at the first organizational meeting and "M" Parrish was elected the first Captain of the Club. The budget was slim. Colonel Yon managed to get all speakers to donate their services.
Our Club has a rich history of fun, fellowship, and of service to the University of Florida and its football program. Club trips in the early days were by train to Miami and New Orleans. Later chartered prop, then jet planes have taken us to California, New York, Las Vegas and other places to watch the Gators play.
The Gainesville QB was one of the first organizations to be designated a "Bull Gator". Some of our financial contributions include:
- Eight fully endowed $50,000 football scholarships and working on our ninth.
- Equipped the first computer lab for UF student-athletes.
- Purchased the first portable X-Ray machine to travel with the team.
- Charter sponsor of the “Ray Graves Award”, the highest award given to a Gator player at the annual Gator team awards banquet.
Our club has grown from five friends meeting on a back porch to 350 friends meeting at the Gainesville Country Club; from meeting only during football season to meeting year 'round; from "Wait Until Next Year" to winning 8 SEC Championships, playing in four national championship games and winning the 1996, 2006 and 2008 National Championships.
Sadly, all of the founding members are gone. There is no question that without Latham, ‘M’, Earl, Lindley and the Colonel we just might not be here today. Our founders were an inspiration locally and throughout the State of Florida. Their vision, loyalty and energy helped build the Gators into one of the finest football programs in the nation, and, over the years, has brought hundreds of friends together, who are proud members the Gainesville Quarterback Club -- “The Oldest Gator Booster Club In The World”.