NeveHarms Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bernard Cahill, specializing in sports medicine and research for 20 years, put Peoria on the Olympic Games map in 1992 after years of dedicated effort to make central Illinois a part of the U.S. Olympic training scene. The culmination of years of planning and dedication was climaxed last spring when the United States Olympic weightlifting team was selected during competition with several other nations in Peoria.
Twenty-five years ago, sports medicine was a lot of talk. Today, sports medicine pioneers such as Dr. Cahill can take credit for faster, more complete recoveries by athletes and the general population alike. Dr. Cahill worked to establish the Great Plains Sports Medicine Science/Training Center, and has devoted much of his career to the wellbeing of youngsters.
Respected for his knowledge and work with sports medicine throughout the world, Dr. Cahill is clinical professor of Orthopedics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria and an ad hoc professor of sports medicine at Illinois State University.
He is a founding member and immediate past president of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, a member of President Ronald Reagan's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and chairman of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Asian Fellowship Program.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bernard Cahill, specializing in sports medicine and research for 20 years, put Peoria on the Olympic Games map in 1992 after years of dedicated effort to make central Illinois a part of the U.S. Olympic training scene. The culmination of years of planning and dedication was climaxed last spring when the United States Olympic weightlifting team was selected during competition with several other nations in Peoria.
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.”