On July 3, 2014 Don Petersen passed away. His passing left a hole in the hearts of many in our community because we lost a mentor, a friend, a family member, a sounding board, a neighbour and a leader. He was a devout man of deep religious convictions, but was also a humble man that believed in the goodness of people. He was simply a good and decent man that was loved by all that came to know him. Sixty five years ago this fall he started a small basketball program for the children at St. Pat’s and in the neighbourhood around the school – his neighbourhood. He was 17 years old at the time. Let that last statement sink in. He was 17 years old at the time he started the program that became what we have today. A league with more than 500 participants annually with more than 100 volunteers counted in that number, providing a safe environment where children now in our greater community can still have a safe place to learn how much fun the game of basketball can be. We owe Don “Pete” Petersen a debt of gratitude that can best be paid by continuing to try and live up to his vision and his legacy. As our banner says – “It started with the dream of one man”. Thanks for having that dream Don.
We miss him for his wit, his laugh, his hugs and handshakes, and his advice. I came across a quote from Dr Suess this spring. It said “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” May any of you that knew Don Petersen remember that quote today, and every time you think of the man we knew as Pete.