NeveHarms The Neve Harms Award for meritorious service to the youth of central Illinois is awarded this year to Dan Shea, who is the 44th recipient of this award.
Dan has been active in numerous volunteer sports, church and community events for 50 years. These activities consist of coaching and officiating in intermurals at Holy Family grade school, with both boys and girls softball team. Dan volunteered on many evenings and weekends.
He was on the board and co-director for years in the annual March of Dimes Snowball Softball Games as well as the March of Dimes One Mile Mall Run. He was a 10 year member of the Illinois Valley Striders board and was in charge of the Steamboat 4 mile course for 10 years.
Dan, 73, is on the Peoria Mayor's Commission for the disabled. He is also on the Holy Family Mexican mission committee.
He has helped veterans clean up Soldiers Hill in Springdale Cemetery, and has helped Santa at the Journal Star Red Stocking Fund party for 28 years. Dan still helps as a monitor for the Steamboat Classic, the Brimfield Run, the Jack Kenny Gaelic Gallop, the OSF Wildlife Park Race, the Race for the Cure, and the Mike McGlaughlin Run in Bradley Park.
Despite a 6-bypass heart surgery and diabetes that limited his walking to a cane and a 3-wheel walker, Dan still helps coach Ed McGraw with his girls track and cross-country teams at East Peoria High School.
Despite all his activities, he found time to bowl in two leagues and played in two softball leagues. He also coached Jimmy's Bar girls softball team for eight years in the 1980's and 1990's.
Besides volunteering for many other activities, he ran for 20 years between ages 45-65 and competed in 336 races from New Hampshire to Hawaii and Florida to California. He also completed seven marathons and 10 triathlons. He continues to volunteer at Holy Family School as well as at the Knights of Columbus.
Dan wrote sports for the Peoria Journal Star for 10 years in the 1950's. He served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War and retired from the Journal Star in 1992 after 41 years, the last 26 years as Day News Editor.
The Neve Harms Award for meritorious service to the youth of central Illinois is awarded this year to Dan Shea, who is the 44th recipient of this award.
Neve Harms Award
The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Neve Harms Award, formerly the Peoria Advertising and Selling Club's Annual Meritorious Service to Sports Award, was named the Neve Harms Award in 1966 and for a very good reason.
As Director of Proctor Recreation Center, Harms observed the need for all youths to experience participation in sports activities, and not just the few who excelled. He, therefore, adopted a firm policy which assured that all youths would have an opportunity to play in games of the various sports controlled by Proctor Center. This plan met with much success and certainly with acceptance by parents whose children became more interested in sport activities at Proctor and consequently made good use of their free time.
Neve carried through this policy when he was appointed Superintendent of the Peoria City Recreation Department which later became part of the Peoria Park District. In addition, he also developed a system of recognition for all youths so that each young person could feel good about his or her efforts.
This kind of interest in all youths regardless of ability came from a most competitive and outstanding athlete. Neve was a four-sport player at Manual High School and a three-sport letter winner at Bradley University. He was a member of the 1929 Manual High School State Championship Basketball team.
Awards prior to 1981 were offered through the Peoria Advertising Club, rather than the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame. We don't have biographies for these individuals. If anyone would be able to provide the bios that were written by the club at the time of the awards, we would very much appreciate receiving them for posting. We are also missing the Bruce Saurs' bio that was written in the 1991 Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Banquet book, and we would like to receive it also. We are specifically interested in the bios written at the time of the awards, not more or less current. Please contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The first official Board of Directors meeting was held on October 14, 1979. Officers were elected. Early decisions determined that the Hall of Famers would be from the Greater Peoria Area; the name would be The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame; its purpose would be to promote and encourage the many varied sports programs in our area, to share with the area the pride we have in the accomplishments of area athletes, and to honor those men, women and teams contributing to our enjoyment and rich sports history.
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