NeveHarms If you couldn't see the scoreboard, you could tell how much longer the game was by the length of Dr. Kenny's cigar. He always brought one for each half.
A lifelong Peorian, Dr James N. Kenny, Sr. graduated from Spalding where he participated in football and boxing. He graduated from Notre Dame with a B.S. in Biological Services, and received his M.D. from St. Louis University in 1943. He served in the U.S. Army from 1944 until 1946, attaining the rank of Captain.
Completing his internship and residency in General Surgery in 1950, he practiced surgery in Peoria until 1990, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
A "fill-in" for Dr Cusack, he took over the Spalding Irish job in 1966 and served until 1986. He took care of injuries, supplied the team with Gatorade, and furnished player photos at the end of season Sports Banquet. Three sons played football for Spalding, and two daughters were cheerleaders.
In 1976, Dr. Kenny received the University of Notre Dame Award of the Year for his commitment to family, his contributions to his community, and his desire to help and serve his fellow man. He was commended for the unselfish and charitable work that he performed throughout his career.
If you couldn't see the scoreboard, you could tell how much longer the game was by the length of Dr. Kenny's cigar. He always brought one for each half.
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.”