NeveHarms Mike started his volunteering back in 1977 when he coached the Little League program in Peoria Heights. Don Matthews was the director. Mike later became the director of this program. The youths involved were 7 to 12 years old.
He also coached in the Little League program at the ALF's program at the Herke Field at Central High School.
He volunteered for many years at Woodrow Wilson and Hines grade school programs.
He eventually took over the program at Woodrow Wilson and was the director.
While at Peoria Central Little League he turned that program around, including a summer's end cookout for the parents and the young players, where everyone got involved with games and activities.
The many area coaches all said if you ever asked Mike Persich to help in any basketball or baseball programs where the youth of central Illinois were involved, Mike never hesitated to pitch in and help.
Mike received a certificate from Mayor Bud Grieves a few years ago which was a commendation for all the volunteering he does for our young people.
He has worked full time for the last 23 years at United Parcel Service.
Mike has worked with the basketball program at Woodruff on recent years and now is Assistant Varsity Coach there.
Mike credits his parents and four older brothers who helped him in growing up and being the citizen he is. Mike is married to his wife, Misty, and has a young son, Noah. Misty is expecting another child in September.
Mike started his volunteering back in 1977 when he coached the Little League program in Peoria Heights. Don Matthews was the director. Mike later became the director of this program. The youths involved were 7 to 12 years old.
A two-sport star (baseball and basketball) at both Limestone High School and Illinois Central College, Thome went on to a legendary baseball career as one of the top sluggers in Major League Baseball history. A 13th-round selection by the Cleveland Indians in 1989, Thome made his MLB debut in 1991. After a 22-year career with Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles, Thome ranks seventh in Major League history with 612 home runs and 24th with 1,699 runs batted in, while boasting a .276 career batting average. He was a five-time All-Star and received Most Valuable Player votes in nine different seasons. Thome helped Cleveland to World Series appearances in both 1995 and 1997 and he hit 17 career postseason home runs. Thome led the American League in slugging in 2002 (.677) and the National League with 47 home runs in 2003 and he received a 1996 Silver Slugger Award. Thome also was the 2006 Americal League Comeback Player of the Year. Recognized for his integrity, sportsmanship and community involvement, Thome received the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in 2001 and 2004, as well as the 2002 Roberto Clemente Award and the 2004 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. The Cleveland organization dedicated a statue of Thome outside Progressive Field following his official retirement in 2014.