NeveHarms For forty-one years, Bert Sanders has been promoting and volunteering at sporting and outdoor events in the Peoria area. An enthusiastic individual in the community, he has been foremost at the front in many aspects of area sporting events. Bert has actively been a hands-on person. Peoria Journal Star sports writer, Jack Ehresman said, "With the help of Bert, Don Wolland and the Isaac Walton Legion, they started what was called National Hunting and Fishing Days." This involved thirty-two outdoor clubs. Bert and Don served for 3 years (1971-1974) as co-chairmen of the event.
From 1965 to 1975 Bert was a shooting exhibitor in the field of archery. During that period, he was heavily involved as an instructor for teenagers at many area high schools. He also served as archery club secretary.
In 1984, he became race director for the Peoria Motorcycle Club of the TT Races. After 28 seasons, he still holds that position. This event has produced an unbelievable amount of revenue for the community. In 1993, Bert was awarded Dirt Track Promoter of the Year by the Motorcycle Association. Continuously tied to racing throughout the year, he has volunteered for obstacle races and poker runs. He's often called upon by others for his expertise when it comes to anything with events associated to the Peoria motorcycle track. He was on the committee which created the Grand National Weekend. Presently, he's in the process of expanding this to a 3-day event. For his contributions, Bert was named Grand Marshal of the event in 2005.
In 1994, he became a member of the Peoria Area Sports Commission. Since that time, he has been the most active volunteer for the organization. Bert has spent countless hours at March Madness, the state cross country meet, state girls softball and boys baseball tournaments, Steamboat Days and other sporting events sponsored by the Peoria Convention and Visitors Bureau. In 2005, he received the PCVB "Steve Kouri MVP Award" for promoting and volunteering at March Madness. His lifetime of service is greatly appreciated.
For forty-one years, Bert Sanders has been promoting and volunteering at sporting and outdoor events in the Peoria area. An enthusiastic individual in the community, he has been foremost at the front in many aspects of area sporting events. Bert has actively been a hands-on person. Peoria Journal Star sports writer, Jack Ehresman said, "With the help of Bert, Don Wolland and the Isaac Walton Legion, they started what was called National Hunting and Fishing Days." This involved thirty-two outdoor clubs. Bert and Don served for 3 years (1971-1974) as co-chairmen of the event.
As a man devoted to sports, Mick Donahue contributed an essential (and sometimes underappreciated) service to organized sports in Peoria for decades. His passion for athletics began as a youth as a participant in the Salvation Army Junior League Tournament and Proctor Center Basketball League. At Peoria Manual High School in the early 50’s, he played on the baseball team. After graduating from Manual, he was a player/manager on the LeTourneau-Westinghouse team in the old Industrial League, which was one of the nation’s top amateur sports organizations at the time.
Mick spent much of his life coaching, organizing and officiating youth sports in the area, especially baseball, softball, basketball and volleyball. He volunteered as a coach from 1957-72 for the St. Boniface Mustangs. Additionally he coached numerous Little League and Pony League teams.
Over the next several decades, he volunteered thousands of hours organizing and administering officials for various league play in the community. Beginning in 1972, he supervised adult softball and basketball leagues for the Peoria Park District. He also scheduled officials/umpires for the area’s catholic grade schools as well as many basketball, baseball, and softball games for the Peoria Public Schools. In his over 30 years with the Peoria Park District, Mick trained, assigned, and supervised officials for adult softball games for leagues at Peoria Stadium and Sterling school. He organized a force of volunteer basketball officials for the Prairie State Games.
Even after his passing in 2011, his legacy in sports continued to have a positive impact for a charitable cause. As a tribute and acknowledgement of his decades of dedication to local softball leagues, a Mick Donahue Memorial Tournament was held in August of 2013, on the park district diamonds near Peoria Stadium. Many teams participated and many others, including umpires, volunteered their services. Proceeds from the successful event were donated to the PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation, a disease being fought by his granddaughter. Concurrent with the tournament, a park bench was dedicated near the large diamond near Peoria Stadium. The small plaque affixed to the bench, reads, “In Memory of Mick Donahue for his dedication to softball and the Peoria Park District.”