NeveHarms The Neve Harms Award for meritorious service to the youth of central Illinois is awarded this year to Dan Shea, who is the 44th recipient of this award.
Dan has been active in numerous volunteer sports, church and community events for 50 years. These activities consist of coaching and officiating in intermurals at Holy Family grade school, with both boys and girls softball team. Dan volunteered on many evenings and weekends.
He was on the board and co-director for years in the annual March of Dimes Snowball Softball Games as well as the March of Dimes One Mile Mall Run. He was a 10 year member of the Illinois Valley Striders board and was in charge of the Steamboat 4 mile course for 10 years.
Dan, 73, is on the Peoria Mayor's Commission for the disabled. He is also on the Holy Family Mexican mission committee.
He has helped veterans clean up Soldiers Hill in Springdale Cemetery, and has helped Santa at the Journal Star Red Stocking Fund party for 28 years. Dan still helps as a monitor for the Steamboat Classic, the Brimfield Run, the Jack Kenny Gaelic Gallop, the OSF Wildlife Park Race, the Race for the Cure, and the Mike McGlaughlin Run in Bradley Park.
Despite a 6-bypass heart surgery and diabetes that limited his walking to a cane and a 3-wheel walker, Dan still helps coach Ed McGraw with his girls track and cross-country teams at East Peoria High School.
Despite all his activities, he found time to bowl in two leagues and played in two softball leagues. He also coached Jimmy's Bar girls softball team for eight years in the 1980's and 1990's.
Besides volunteering for many other activities, he ran for 20 years between ages 45-65 and competed in 336 races from New Hampshire to Hawaii and Florida to California. He also completed seven marathons and 10 triathlons. He continues to volunteer at Holy Family School as well as at the Knights of Columbus.
Dan wrote sports for the Peoria Journal Star for 10 years in the 1950's. He served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War and retired from the Journal Star in 1992 after 41 years, the last 26 years as Day News Editor.
The Neve Harms Award for meritorious service to the youth of central Illinois is awarded this year to Dan Shea, who is the 44th recipient of this award.
|H. V. Porter|
Henry Van Arsdale (H.V.) Porter
A native of Manito, Ill., Henry Van Arsdale Porter is credited with coining the phrase "March Madness," but his influence on high school athletics in the state of Illinois and nationally is much more tangible. After graduating from Illinois State University in 1913, Porter began his career as a high school coach, athletic director and principal. He led the Athens High School boys basketball team to a 29-1 record and a runner-up finish in the 1924 state tournament, as well as a 36-3 record and fourth-place state tournament finish in 1926. Well known for his administrative skills, however, Porter served as an IHSA Assistant Executive Director from 1929-40, before moving on to the National Federation of High School Athletic Associations (NFHS) staff in 1940 as the organization's first executive secretary and editor of publications. Throughout his career, Porter's contributions in a wide range of areas led directly to the evolution of basketball. During his service to the IHSA, Porter organized the department to train and license high school officials in football, basketball and baseball and he oversaw the introduction for state tournaments in the sports of tennis, golf, swimming and wrestling. He also published the first high school basketball rules book in 1936, standardizing the game across the country. Among his contributions to the game, Porter designed the popular, fan-shaped backboard in 1933 and in 1935 he pushed for the replacement of the 32-inch sewn leather basketball with a 29.5-inch, molded leather basketball. The new ball was much easier for youth players to handle and made dribbling a more prominent skill in all levels of the game. Porter also pioneered the use of motion pictures to study proper playing techniques. Porter was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1960 and the Athens High School gymnasium is named in his honor.