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.
After a successful early career coaching elementary school athletics in the Champaign-Urbana area, Merv entered the Peoria athletic scene in 1962 as football coach at Spalding High School. His first three teams had a combined 24-2-1 record. His 1965 squad went 9-0-1, and in 1967 he was 10-0 followed by an 8-1 year in 1968. His last five Irish teams, 1972-1976, went 35-11-3.