When I think about the St. Louis Blues, a few prominent names come to mind: Brett Hull, Al MacInnis, Bernie Federko, Bob Plager, Barret Jackman…
…and Donna Ferguson.
The last name is one you’ve probably never heard, but don’t think for a second that it isn’t as important to this franchise as any of the others.
In fact, if Donna had a jersey number, it would probably be hanging from the rafters by now.
For almost 27 years, Donna has been part of the Blues front office. When she took the job in 1989, she was one of just 15 employees.
Today, she’s one of 125.
Over the years, Donna has served as an assistant to the marketing, public relations and sponsorship departments, and although not in her typical job description, she’s done everything from getting a Sam’s Club membership for Pierre Turgeon when he was refused access to the store to ordering flowers for the players’ wives when the team was on the road for Valentine’s Day.
But, as Donna would likely tell you, working for the Blues hasn’t always been rosy, especially at the Old Arena.
Donna Ferguson, who will retire after nearly 27 years in the Blues front office, threw out the first pitch before Tuesday's game at Busch Stadium (Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI). >>> WATCH NOW
“Our offices were on the ground floor, and every time it rained, the water would come in Jack Quinn’s window,” Donna recalled. ”The carpet would smell for days afterwards because it would be all wet. And we used to have mice in the office. Susie (Mathieu) and I would scream and Mike (Caruso) would have to get up with a hockey stick and try to catch or kill the mouse for us.
“Sometimes he’d get it, sometimes he wouldn’t.”
Since moving to Scottrade Center, the carpet doesn’t get wet, and she doesn’t see mice anymore. But Donna has seen plenty of hockey. We’re talking more than 2,000 regular season games, 180 playoff games and 10 different head coaches behind the bench.
Unfortunately, Donna has worked her last game. On July 1, she will be leaving for a well-deserved, hard-earned retirement.
All of us, from the front office to the coaches to the players, are going to miss her dearly. But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what a few prominent Blues had to say about Donna:Brett Hull:
“If there was a Mount Rushmore for people that make the world a better place to be in, Donna would stand alone. She’s been a beacon of light during dark times and a continuous ray of sunshine from that March day when I arrived in St. Louis.”Kelly Chase:
“Donna is truly the employee that knows all the secrets and the real true stories about the St. Louis Blues, and she’d never say a word. She’s the most honorable person and has the most integrity of anybody you could ever work with. If there’s a hall of fame for staff, she’d be in it.”Bruce Affleck:
“She’s the glue that has held everything together through good and bad times. Her retiring will be a big loss, that’s for sure.”Bob Plager:
“Donna has taken care of me more than any other person around here. When I needed something or wanted something, she did it. Nobody is going to miss Donna more than I will. Even my grandkids will miss her when they run to her desk and there’s no jar there for candy.”
On Tuesday, Donna threw out the first pitch at the Cardinals game while our entire front office staff watched. On Wednesday, we hosted a party for her. And Mayor Francis Slay even declared June 17 as “Donna Ferguson Day” in St. Louis. These are just small tokens of our appreciation for someone that has given so much to all of us.
We’ll never be able to repay Donna for all her years of hard work and dedication, but we’re trying.
Thanks Donna for all you’ve done, and for all you continue to do. This place won’t be the same without you.