Three Volunteers Honored at Little League Congress Banquet
Three men who have spent many years of their life volunteering on behalf of Little League Baseball and Softball were honored this evening as part of the Chairman’s Banquet, the closing event of the 25th Little League International Congress in Lexington, Ky.
John Chadwick, the Tournament Director of the Junior League Softball World Series in Kirkland, Wash., received the Little League Chairman’s Award; Paul Gray, the Assistant Tournament Director for the Big League Softball World Series in Kalamazoo, Mich., was presented the President’s Award; and, Paul Flanagan, a District Administrator in West Virginia, was named the recipient of the Peter J. McGovern Distinguished Service Award.
All three awards are given in appreciation for the recipient’s contributions and dedicated service to the Little League Baseball and Softball programs.
“We are very happy and honored to be able to recognize all three men for their efforts on behalf of the entire Little League family,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League International, said. “Each of them has served in numerous capacities, exhibiting a dedication and commitment to the ideals and goals of the Little League program. Many people have benefitted from their hard work, but none more than the Little League organization. We are indebted to them for what they have done, and what they continue to do.”
Little League Chairman’s Award – John Chadwick, Bellevue, Wash.
Mr. Chadwick, a native of Longview, Wash., who now lives in Bellevue, Wash., has been the only tournament director for the Junior League Softball World Series. He has had a hand in coordinating various aspects of the World Series since its inception in 1999. A graduate of the University of Washington, Mr. Chadwick served as a District Administrator in Washington for 33 years. During his tenure, the number of leagues in his district more than doubled. He has also served as President of the Bellevue (Wash.) Thunderbird Little League while also coaching his son, daughter and granddaughter. He has conducted numerous training clinics for Little League personnel and was instrumental in the establishment of Mariner Day, an annual promotion by the Seattle Mariners inviting Little Leaguers to one of their games. An engineer for an aerospace company, Mr. Chadwick and his wife, Ann, have two children and six grandchildren.
President’s Award - Paul Gray, Portage, Mich.
Mr. Gray has volunteered on the Big League Softball World Series Tournament staff since 1981. In that time, Mr. Gray has been involved in all phases of the national tournament. He also was involved in the operation of the Little League Softball World Series and the Senior League Softball World Series, which were both played for a number of years in Kalamazoo, Mich., the present home of the Big League Softball World Series. Mr. Gray began his work in Little League as a manager in the West Portage Little League before becoming the Treasurer and eventually the President of the league. The league is located in Portage, Mich., where Mr. Gray has called home for most of his life. Mr. Gray and his wife, Joan, have two children, Pat and Paula. “They say I am the captain of the ship, but Paul Gray is the man that makes the Big League Softball World Series go,” Bud Vandenberg, Director of the Big League World Series, said. “He is the nuts and bolts of the tournament, which would not take place without his efforts.”
Peter J. McGovern Distinguished Service Award – Paul Flanagan, Sophia, W. Va.
Mr. Flanagan has been a District Administrator in West Virginia for 16 years. A longtime resident of Sophia, W. Va., Mr. Flanagan spent three years as the President of the local Little League while also coaching and umpiring. A nine-year member of Little League’s Southeastern Region Advisory Committee, Mr. Flanagan is in his third year of a five-year term as a member of the Little League International Board of Directors, where he has provided valuable counsel and opinions. Mr. Flanagan served for eight years as the chairman of the West Virginia Little League Association and was instrumental in the relocation of the Southeastern Region Headquarters to Warner Robins, Ga. Mr. Flanagan and his wife, Belinda, have one daughter, Ledonna, and two sons, Paul and John, along with three grandchildren.