NeveHarms Russ Platt has a long record of helping youth sports.
Russ coached women's softball in the early l96Os. In the 197Os he coached baseball in West Peoria. He has been president of the Manual Booster Club, has repaired bicycles for Toys for Tots, and volunteered set-up of the initial Jumpball Jamboree at the IHSA March Madress Experience.
Russ served as president of the Independent Sports Club in 1984, and for the past 11 years has served as treasurer for the ISC. Under Russ' watch, the ISC has grown to over 700 members, making it easier to perform its mission "...to help provide Peoria area youth the best sports programs in the country."
Russ and his wife Betty celebrated 50 years of marriage last year. He is proud to join the long list of friends who have received this award: Gary Trotter, Dan Shea, Jim Watson, and fellow worker from Illinois Mutual, Chuck McCord.
Russ Platt has a long record of helping youth sports.
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.”