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Remembering Don Ball

Categories: Guest Connection Inside Meadows

Don and Sharon Ball - February 14, 2009 at the dedication of the Ballroom Carpet at Mt. Hood Meadows

We want to recognize the passing of long time instructor and mentor Don Ball, who took his last run to glory in November. Don joined the Meadows ski school as an instructor in the 60s, and continued teaching through the 2012 season and guest hosting after that.

From his memory page:

Don met his wife Sharon in Salem and fell instantly in love. They were married on June 5, 1965, and recently celebrated their 54th anniversary. Don was an avid mountain climber and scaled every climbable peak in Oregon and Washington. Don loved backpacking, camping and was a lifetime skier. Don was an active member and supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. He was an elementary school teacher for much of his career until retiring in 1995 from the Salem-Keizer Public School District. He was elected president of the Salem Education Association. During his tenure, he led the members on a successful strike leading to better wages and retirement benefits for all Salem teachers. He continued working his second "job" as a ski instructor at Mt. Hood Meadows until 2012.

Don Ball takes the inaugural run at the opening of the Ballroom Carpet at Mt. Hood Meadows in 2009.

Don took the inaugural lift ride on the Ballroom Carpet - named after him - at opening ceremonies in 2009.

Director of Resort Services Chris Kastner, who is a long time friend of Don, attended the celebration of life service earlier this month, and read a statement from Meadows CEO Matthew Drake.

To the Don Ball Family:

On behalf of the entire Mt. Hood Meadows Team, we mourn Don’s passing.
As you know, Don was a long time member of the Mt. Hood Meadows family as an instructor.  Even more significantly, Don was a great leader and motivator within our organization.  No matter what he pursued at Meadows, teaching skiing, helping out other departments, or handing out cookies at the end of the day, his energy, positive attitude and consummate integrity made lasting impressions on his fellow Team members and on our guests.

Don was particularly influential in expanding our educational programs for young children.  The child in Don frequently came out when working with the children registered in our Ski School programs and they absolutely loved him for that.  I guess it takes one to know one!

When we constructed the very first variable height Magic Carpet in the US at Meadows, we proudly named this unique facility the “Ballroom Carpet” after Don’s inspirational legacy of service before self.  Meadows will always be remembered as Don’s Mountain Home.

Personally, I am grateful to Don for the grace and grit that he taught me and others through the way he lived.
In Don’s memory, we have made a gift to the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol, an organization we share Don’s admiration for.

Matthew B. Drake
Chairman and CEO
Mt. Hood Meadows Oreg., LLC

Those who wish to remember Don in a special way, in lieu of flowers, may make gifts in his memory to the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol, P.O. Box 4384, Portland, OR 97208 or for Parkinsons research: The Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014