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.
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.”