When Chris was 12 years old, he, his dad, Jim, stepmother, Prue, and stepsister, Holly, went to Badger Pass in Yosemite to learn to ski. Chris learned after only one lesson. He took to it in one day – got so good he didn't bother to go to the rest of his daily lessons. Both he and Holly spent their time racing down the intermediate hills, and speeding around the top of all the ski runs as you could go very fast, the snow was mostly ice, and had lots of "bumps" and hills where, the kids used to say, "You can get some great air!"
On their last day, Jim observed Chris and Holly in the back of their lodge, just staring at the freshly fallen snow adorning the trees, mountains, meadow. As they were leaving the valley, Jim looked in the back seat to see Chris just staring at the vistas. Enraptured. At that moment, he knew at a gut level the snow was going to be a large part of Chris’ life, in one way or another. He was twelve.
By 14, he was racing and winning trophies in Nastar for racing downhill at Dodge Ridge and Badger Pass. By 18, he was one of the first snowboarders at Dodge Ridge and declared an "expert snowboarder" that first year in Dodge Ridge by the instructors there. He said then, he was a snowboarder forever, no longer a skier! In 1989, he moved to Breckenridge to work in the snowboard business and to pursue his passion for snowboarding. In 1998, he opened The Big Hit, which not only became a successful business, but a second home to many of the young people of Breckenridge.
Many articles have been written about Chris in the Summit Daily News. The words "mentor, friend, role model, counselor and father figure" appear time and time again to describe him. Chris was a devoted father, and one of his greatest dreams was to teach his own daughters to snowboard. Chris “was a key player in making the Breckenridge skateboard and snowboard scene positive and inclusive," according to an article in the Summit Daily News by Justin J. McCarthy. In September of 2002, Chris was recognized by the Breckenridge Resort Chamber for his "superb guest service."
Chris loved people. He loved kids. He once said that after he made it big with The Big Hit, and could retire (if he wanted to), he would go back to college and become a Sixth Grade teacher. He would have been a great one.
Our family believes Chris never got through a day without helping someone better her/his life. We hope this scholarship fund will continue Chris’s legacy of helping and mentoring young people.
The Chris Ferris Memorial Fund will provide scholarships for underserved youth to enroll in SOS Outreach programs where they learn about leadership, foster self-respect and confidence and take part in community service. SOS Outreach programs incorporate skiing and snowboarding, introducing the mountain environment to youth who have not had the opportunity to experience it. SOS also offers a multi-year mentoring program providing youth with positive role models. To learn more about SOS Outreach please visit SOSoutreach.org