SARASOTA, Fla. – A Sarasota woman known for her community service was hit and killed this morning while sleeping in her bed. A 24 year old woman drove her car into the home, killing Eleanor Ball.
Police say moments before the accident they responded to the 1700 block of 29th Street in Sarasota where Jakeilah Weeks was accused of breaking into her ex-boyfriends apartment. As Weeks fled from the scene of her ex-boyfriends apartment, she ran into Ball's home with her car.
Eleanor Ball was one of the 'ABC 7 Who Care' Honorees in July of 2012. The award was given to shine a spotlight on some of the Suncoast's most outstanding volunteers. Ball was known as a pillar of the Newtown community in Sarasota.
Ball grew up in Sarasota, graduating from Riverview High School and returning to her hometown after college to work more than thirty years at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
Ball was known to be constantly inspiring students to work in health care, while saving countless lives along the way.
Eleanor Ball brought her health careers summer camp to the Suncoast Communities Blood Bank for a behind the scenes tour. Ball hoped students would work at the blood bank one day, collecting life saving blood and plasma. She said in a 2012 interview, “And then our goal is obviously to get them into higher levels of education be it technical or College. But it does just make me feel good and does my heart well when I see our students advance."
Maribel Prezas is one of the student's that interacted with Ball and helped with the summer camp. The Booker High graduate lived next door to Ball and always dreamt of one day becoming a nurse. In 2012 Prezas said "I just graduated and I was about to give up for certain obstacles, but she was the one who encouraged me to keep going on and ignore those obstacles and I'm really happy she did that for me."
Prezas called "Miss Ball" her second mom and that she owes taking classes at State College of Florida in Fall of 2012 to Ball.
Perezas said “She's just an amazing person and I've seen how much she does for the community and I look out the window and she's still there working late for the people in her community because she really cares."
Ball's service went well beyond her summer camp because year round she showed people how to live and eat healthier, and how to detect cancer, through her work with the Newtown Wellness Program.
Ball also put together educational packets for her Pink Ribbon Parties for breast cancer awareness. She was also on the local and state boards of the American Cancer Society and was the Director of Ministries at her church.
When ABC 7 interviewed Ball in 2012 she said, "Someone has to take the lead and I feel that, that's my mission because of the passion I have that I just want to help."
One of those Ball helped was the longtime pastor of her church, Pastor Gregory Harris, who said in 2012, “Anything that you need to get done, before you say it, Eleanor's already done it."
Pastor Gregory Harris was recruited by Eleanor to help spread the word on prostate cancer. Little did he know, what he learned helped him become a prostate cancer survivor himself.
Pastor Harris said there's no way to measure what Ball means to her church, her neighborhood and her community.
Pastor Harris said in 2012 “You couldn't put a monetary value, you know, a person like her, her rewards will have to be in heaven."