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.
Tom’s outstanding baseball career was highlighted by Major League baseball appearances as a pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was the winning pitcher in his first outing with the Jays, his only decision in the Big Leagues.
Gilles was an outstanding athlete at Bergan High School (merged with Peoria AOL/Spalding to become Peoria Notre Dame in 1988). He was selected to All-Conference basketball and baseball teams. He was named All-State in both sports in 1980, his senior year. Tom was a star on the 1980 Bergan Basketball Team (GPSHOF class of 2010) that placed 2nd in the IHSA Class A State Tournament. Arguably, the most memorable moment in Bergan’s basketball history occurred during the tournament when his steal and resulting “buzzer beating” layup gave the Trojans a thrilling 56-55 win over Sterling Newman in the Moline Super-Sectional propelling Bergan to the quarterfinals. Tom was selected to the All-Tournament 1st Team. After Bergan, Gilles continued his baseball career at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, playing for the Sycamores from 1981-85. As a freshman and sophomore, he both played as a position player and relief pitcher. His 3.22 earned run average in 1981 was the lowest among all pitchers. Tom was strictly a position player in his final two years, playing as a regular on ISU teams that won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championships in each season. In the summer of 1983, he was selected as a Central Illinois Collegiate League All-Star. Soon after his college career, he attempted to land a spot on the USA Baseball Team’s 30-man roster that would compete in the 1984 Olympic Games. After making the preliminary roster against nationwide competition, he narrowly missed being named to the final roster. Tom signed his first professional contract with the New York Yankees as a 47th round pick in the 1984 draft. He played first and third base his first two seasons in the Yankees organization. He was converted to pitching in 1987 and hurled as a relief pitcher the next five seasons at Appleton, Kenosha, Orlando, and Knoxville, in the Yankees, Royals, Twins, and Blue Jays organizations. He compiled a record of 22-16. After his playing days, he shared his professional experience by coaching high school and college players.