Michael Smith Named Little League Volunteer of the Year
Michael Smith has been a volunteer in the Nanticoke Little League for 11 years, and currently serves as league resident, but it is his efforts at many levels of the Little League program that have brought Mr. Smith to be honored as Little League’s Volunteer of the Year during the 62nd Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa., this August.
The Little League Volunteer of the Year award recognizes the selfless efforts of more than one million volunteers at the grass-roots level of the Little League program. To his credit, Mr. Smith has displayed a tireless commitment to the Nanticoke Little League and Delaware District 3.
“Mike is one of the most eager volunteers in our district,” Martin Donovan, Delaware District 3 Administrator, said. “The best part of this award is that the people who nominated Mike were people that served on the Nanticoke Little Leagues Board of Directors, parents of players in Nanticoke Little League and people from Delaware District 3 staff who have worked with him. I think that says a lot about Mike as a person and fellow volunteer.”
Aside from his regular-season duties as league president, Mr. Smith coaches teams in the Tee Ball, Minor Softball and Major Baseball divisions. His also umpires games and coordinates the concession stand for the local league that serves more than 750 children.
“I’ve spent a lot of years as a volunteer in Nanticoke Little League and this is my second year as league president,” Mr. Smith, who is the director of special programs and services for the Seaford, Del., School District, said. “ I volunteer because of the children, so when I found out I was going to receive this award, I was in awe. Personally, I am happy that the efforts of the volunteers in our league are being recognized by this award.”
In recent years, Mr. Smith developed plans for two new fields, including one that was dedicated earlier this year to mark the 50th anniversary of Nanticoke Little League.
Mr. Smith, who has four children playing in Nanticoke Little League, also is an active participant during tournament season, serving as the Delaware District 3 Minor and Major Division Softball tournament director, and volunteering at the Senior League Softball World Series, in Lower Sussex, Del.
“Around 99 percent of the volunteers in our league have children playing in the league, so I try to remind them to be as enthusiastic now as they were when they’re child was five and in their first season of Tee Ball,” Mr. Smith said. “No mater at what level, or how much time a person puts in, being a volunteer means being involved and helping out. The little things that volunteers do, add up to the whole of providing a great league for the kids.”
The Little League Volunteer of the Year Award, established in 1989, was designed to provide local leagues an opportunity to honor a deserving individual with this prestigious distinction. This honor is recognized as the most important and visible of the Little League Baseball and Softball award programs.
“Being a Little League volunteer can be many things, but the common tie is the willingness to get involved and give freely of one’s time without expecting even a ‘thank you,’” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “To take on such an array of responsibilities is certainly admirable and testament to Mr. Smith’s belief in the Nanticoke Little League, and the other leagues in Delaware’s District 3. Such effort on behalf of the children and his league make him worthy of this recognition and a well-deserving recipient of the Little League Volunteer of the Year Award.”