NeveHarms Long-time former Peoria Heights mayor Ray PicI, who has devoted thousands of hours to the local sports scene, is the winner of the Neve Harms Meritorious Service to Sports Award for 1998.
PicI, in particular, has been synonymous with the Bradley Chiefs Club and the Chicago Cub Boosters of Central Illinois.
He has been a past president and currently on the board of directors of the Chiefs Club, a major fund-raising organization for the Bradley athletic program. Head man of the Chicago Cubs Boosters for 13 years, his efforts have made the appearance of the cub winter caravan a major event in Peoria with thousands attending the banquet each year. During his presidency the Cub boosters club has donated well over $100,000 to local sports programs.
He also has been coordinator of the Central Illinois Chicago Bears Fan Club and last year he finished second among 96 fan club coordinators in membership recruiting.
He was chairman of the committee that brought Junior League Football to Peoria Heights. Other volunteer duties over the years included public address announcer for Peoria Heights grade school sports and Peoria Heights High School football and basketball, official scorer for the Peoria Heights High School girls basketball team and coach in the Peoria Heights Junior Basketball League.
Long-time former Peoria Heights mayor Ray PicI, who has devoted thousands of hours to the local sports scene, is the winner of the Neve Harms Meritorious Service to Sports Award for 1998.
Jim Lewis served as Athletic Director, head football, golf, basketball, and baseball coach at Pekin Community High School during his career from 1933-1955. Jim received his BA from the University of Illinois and a masters from the University of Iowa. During his days at the University of Illinois he played football and basketball. Jim also served in the military. Jim Lewis started his coaching career at Pekin in 1933 with the baseball team. He compiled a record of 118-71-1 in eleven seasons under his direction. Lewis led Pekin to six regional titles in his seven seasons as basketball coach, including state trophies in 1947 (4th place) and 1948 (3rd place). Jim coached football for eleven seasons with a 71-30-1 record. The 1951 unbeaten Pekin football team was the first team in the history of the school to win ten games. The 1951 team was considered the mythical Number 1 team in the state. Pekin won both the Greater Peoria Illini Conference and the Big 12 Conference titles that year. Jim's golf teams excelled, winning a 3rd place (1948) and a 2nd place (1949) in the state tournament during his seven years as coach. Jim Lewis was one of the driving forces behind building Pekin Memorial Stadium. Jim was a member in three Halls of Fame, the Pekin High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Illinois High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, and the IBCA Hall of Fame. Even by today's standards, Coach Lewis' coaching achievements are legendary.