NeveHarms Dr. Clarence V. Ward is an Ophthalmologist who graduated from Spalding in 1940, University of Notre Dame in 1944 and St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1946. He served 2 years in the Army in Japan and had a 2-year residency at Hines Veteran Hospital. He has been in private practice in Ophthalmology continuously since 1952.
Dr. Ward received the University of Notre Dame Man of the Year Award in 1983, the IL State Medical Society Award for Outstanding Team Physician in 1990 and the Peoria Area Catholic High School Team Physician Award in 1992.
In 1965, the year that Bergan High School entered the Mid State 8, which then became the Mid State 9, he was asked by his good friend, Dr. George Best, to act as Bergan's Team Physician because Dr. Best's son, freshman Marty Best, was Bergan's starting quarterback. From that game and for the next 22 years Dr. Ward served as Bergan's Team Physician and then continued to serve in the same capacity for 4 more years as Spalding and Bergan merged to become Peoria Notre Dame High School.
Dr. Ward served 14 years under Head Coach Jim Heid, 5 years under the legendary Merv Haycock, 4 years under Tim Dougherty and 4 years under Jim Donahue. When asked onetime Why an Ophthalmologist was the Team Doctor, Ward replied "because my back-up man is an OB Gynecologist Specialist".
Dr. Clarence V. Ward is an Ophthalmologist who graduated from Spalding in 1940, University of Notre Dame in 1944 and St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1946. He served 2 years in the Army in Japan and had a 2-year residency at Hines Veteran Hospital. He has been in private practice in Ophthalmology continuously since 1952.
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 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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