NeveHarms If you couldn't see the scoreboard, you could tell how much longer the game was by the length of Dr. Kenny's cigar. He always brought one for each half.
A lifelong Peorian, Dr James N. Kenny, Sr. graduated from Spalding where he participated in football and boxing. He graduated from Notre Dame with a B.S. in Biological Services, and received his M.D. from St. Louis University in 1943. He served in the U.S. Army from 1944 until 1946, attaining the rank of Captain.
Completing his internship and residency in General Surgery in 1950, he practiced surgery in Peoria until 1990, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
A "fill-in" for Dr Cusack, he took over the Spalding Irish job in 1966 and served until 1986. He took care of injuries, supplied the team with Gatorade, and furnished player photos at the end of season Sports Banquet. Three sons played football for Spalding, and two daughters were cheerleaders.
In 1976, Dr. Kenny received the University of Notre Dame Award of the Year for his commitment to family, his contributions to his community, and his desire to help and serve his fellow man. He was commended for the unselfish and charitable work that he performed throughout his career.
If you couldn't see the scoreboard, you could tell how much longer the game was by the length of Dr. Kenny's cigar. He always brought one for each half.
Hockey was a sport local fans could watch only if they went to Chicago or St. Louis until BardezBanian founded the Peoria Stars in 1959.
The two were with the Pekin Stars until 1970, when they formed the Peoria Blades, on the outdoor rink at Logan, in 1971. The Logan "bubble" went up the next year and the Blades, through membership in the Continental League, gave Peoria a solid taste of hockey.
BardezBanian played with the Blades for a few years, then became president while Olson always served as the team's general manager.
And the two gave hockey a boost whenever they could. BardezBanian coached the Bradley University club team for many years and both were instrumental in starting and maintaining youth hockey in Pekin and Peoria.
Both are now retired, Olson from Caterpillar's Mossville plant and BardezBanian from a management position with the City of Peoria.