NeveHarms Upon making the decision to take up permanent residence in Peoria, Dr. Higgins researched the history of Peoria sports. As Lt. Gov. of IL district of Kiwanis, Dr. Higgins, a chiropractic physician, was harboring an idea about a Peoria Sports Hall of Fame.
After approaching fellow Kiwanian Orville Nothdurf about the idea, Orville suggested they confer with the new athletic director at Bradley University, Ron Ferguson. Subsequently the board was formed and Dr. Higgins was voted the HOF's first president. The first board meeting was held Oct. 1979, with the first induction being held Dec. 1981.
Dr. Higgins has been active in the civic and sports area. Serving on the Board of Directors of S.O.S., save our stadium, Peoria City zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Commission City of Chillicothe, Pres. Suburban Kiwanis, Lt. Gov. II District Kiwanis. Assisted in forming and developing Richwoods and Bergan (Peoria Notre Dame) high school Key Clubs. Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau's Vice Pres. Sports Commission. Attended to sport injuries at Richwood High School from 1967-1989, then joined Pekin High School football in 1990 as team doctor. He had the privilege of assisting with IHSA High School All Star Football games as on field doctor in Peoria for sixteen years. He was an attending doctor at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He was recruited by Bass Master to treat their participants while traveling with them to their venues and attended Bass Master Classics from 1995-1997. Prior to that he was a NASCAR, IRL, TT Motorcycle, Pro Bowling , event doctor treating participates at their venues
Upon making the decision to take up permanent residence in Peoria, Dr. Higgins researched the history of Peoria sports. As Lt. Gov. of IL district of Kiwanis, Dr. Higgins, a chiropractic physician, was harboring an idea about a Peoria Sports Hall of Fame.
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.”