> Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2006 > Little League International Mourns the Loss of James P. Stopper
Little League International Mourns the Loss of James P. Stopper
Mr. Stopper was chief financial officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, a member of the Little League International Board of Directors, and treasurer of the Little League Foundation. He retired last year from Little League International after 32 years.
“Jim Stopper played a vital role for Little League, and he will be missed,” Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “For more than three decades he faithfully served the children of Little League, and the projects he led over the years will serve as memorials to his devotion and dedication. Not only was Jim a loyal and vital member of the Little League family, he was a personal friend and I'll miss him."
Several significant projects were recently completed during Mr. Stopper’s tenure at Little League International, including the construction of Little League Volunteer Stadium in Williamsport, and the construction of the Southwestern Region Headquarters in Waco, Texas.
Closest to his heart, however, was the development and construction of the Little League European Leadership Training Center in Kutno, Poland. Following the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, Mr. Stopper helped lead the drive to develop Little League’s first permanent regional headquarters outside the U.S.
“Mr. Stopper knew how important this project was to the people of Poland, and the people of Europe,” said Beata Kaszuba, director of the Little League Europe, Middle East and Africa region. “He took a personal interest in making sure the regional headquarters of Europe was something the Polish people, Europeans, and all Little Leaguers could be proud of. Our staff here is saddened by this loss, but we always will be grateful for Mr. Stopper’s leadership.”
The center in Poland now includes dormitories, two stadiums, and an administration building. It serves thousands of children in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and is the site of annual regional competitions that send winners to the U.S. for various world series tournaments in Little League Baseball and Softball.
Little League, founded in Williamsport in 1939, is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.7 million participants and 1 million volunteers in all 50 U.S. states and scores of other countries.
More information on Little League can be found at www.littleleague.org. Information on the Little League European Leadership Training Center can be found at http://eteamz.active.com/llbeurope/.