NeveHarms It is appropriate that this prestigious award named for Neve Harms be awarded this year to co-winner Walter Eisele, as Walt was one of the original members of the Proctor Recreation Comet Club, a youth group founded by Neve Harms in 1935.
A retired electrician, Walt has been involved with youth-oriented organizations for over 50 years, either by spearheading fundraisers for youth programs or by co-ordinating youth sports activities.
A graduate of Manual where he lettered in football, Walt has always been a "doer" - whatever the job, big or small, he does it!! He has been a long-time member, former Board Member and Past President of the Independent Sports Club; he has also been active in the Old Timers Baseball Association, serving on their Board of Directors for several years.
A charter Board member and co-founder of the Spalding Booster Club, he was named "Spalding Booster of the Year" in 1966-67 for his many years of service to that group. For his outstanding and dedicated service to Carver Center, he was honored by their Board of Directors. His volunteer efforts also involve the "Meals on Wheels" program.
Walt is currently President of the "Friends of Fatherless Boys and Girls," a group that he helped form over 20 years ago. This is probably his favorite youth program, as he has been a Board Member since its beginning.
An avid sports fan, Walt's retirement years have been occupied with golf, bowling, and fishing. Although Walt and Gert, his wife of 47 years, travel extensively, he still finds time for his two daughters and threee grandchildren. It is a bit ironic that he met Gert on the tennis courts of Proctor Center.
One of Walt's first jobs was as a life guard at Proctor Center. Who gave him that job - none other than Neve Harms himself!!"
It is appropriate that this prestigious award named for Neve Harms be awarded this year to co-winner Walter Eisele, as Walt was one of the original members of the Proctor Recreation Comet Club, a youth group founded by Neve Harms in 1935.
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.