In 2008 our president, Norm Sayler, came up with a great idea: Summit Pioneer Awards. The DSHS would award the distinction of Summit Pioneer annually to those who have most shaped Donner Summit.
We started in 2009 and have continued each year recognizing interesting and outstanding Summit personalities. The posters for each year's celebrations are below. You can read about the pionneers' stories in our September newsletters or use our article index (on each year's newsletter page) to find more extensive articles. For example our newsletters have long stories about Hannes Schroll, Bill Klein, Johnny Ellis, the Fredericks, and Dennis Jones.
Left is the poster for the 2010 awards: Auburn Ski Club, Dick Buek, and Hanness Schroll.
Without the Auburn Ski Club there would be no modern Donner Summit. They brought modern skiing to the Summit with activities aimed at popularizing skiing. They got Old Highway 40 plowed in winter opening access and Boreal Ski Area sits on their land. Hanness Schroll founded Sugar Bowl and Dick Buek was a famous Summit skier and Olympian. He was the "madman of Donner Summit." Read about them in the August, 2010 newsletter
Right is the 2009 Poster with awards to Bill Klein, Dennis Jones, and Johnny Ellis
Bill Klein pioneered Summit ski instruction and so helped popularize the sport (November, 2009 newsletter
); Johnny Ellis built the first rope tow on Donner Summit and so helped make skiing accessible (April
and July, 2009;
and Dennis Jones also helped develop Summit ski instruction (February, 2009
Left is the 2011awards poster. In 2011 we recognized Herb and Lena Fredericks. They rand the Norden Store for decades starting in the 30's and Herb was the postmaster at Norden for even longer. Read about them in the October
and November, 2011
newsletters. Also recognized was Margie Powell, Summit historian and author. She founded the Donner Summit Historical Society. You can read about her in the July, 2011 newsletter