2023 Little League® Community Heroes of the Year to be Recognized in Williamsport

Community Heroes hero

For the second year in a row, Little League® International will be recognizing a select group of dedicated individuals for their commitment to their local leagues and respective communities, honoring them as the 2023 Little League Community Heroes of the Year. The recognition will be made prior to the 7 p.m. ET game on Tuesday, August 22, as part of the 2023 Little League Baseball® World Series, Presented by T-Mobile.

“Providing a positive Little League experience starts with the commitment and dedication of our local league volunteers, and each year we are inspired by the actions of those who continue to step up and support their communities on and off the field,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “On behalf of all of us at Little League International, and the millions of children and families that this program serves, we are pleased to honor these five well-deserving individuals as the 2023 Little League Community Heroes of the Year.”

Launched in 2020, the Little League Community Heroes program is a year-long celebration of Little League’s dedicated volunteers and players who step up to the plate not only in their role with Little League, but those making larger contributions as role models within their community. Starting in 2022, as part of a new awards program structure, volunteers who were nominated for the Community Heroes program throughout the year also became eligible to be recognized as Community Heroes of the Year.

Below are the five individuals honored as the 2023 Little League Community Heroes of the Year, who will each be presented with a $1,000 grant to their local league as a thank you for their dedicated efforts:

Michael DeLima – Johnston (R.I.) Little League

  • League Role: Coach
  • Occupation: Police Officer

While serving as a coach and Vice President for his local Little League program during the heart of the pandemic, Michael DeLima also worked on the Rhode Island Sherriff’s department COVID-19 response team, earning an official citation from the Rhode Island Judiciary for his service. Whether serving the streets of Rhode Island or the fields of his local league, Mr. DeLima is committed to helping his community in any way he can.

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Carson Ferguson – Greenwood (Ind.) Little League

  • League Role: Player, Volunteer
  • Occupation: Student

As a player in his league’s Senior Division, Carrson Ferguson is not just focused on his own experience on the field. For the past seven years, Carrson has also volunteered as a buddy with the Challenger Division and has been an umpire for the past three years. When working behind the plate, Carrson never hesitates to assist catchers with positioning or batters to help with a better stance. When he’s not a Challenger buddy or umpiring, he can be seen inside the concession stand or working on the grounds crew to prepare a field.

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Angie Kogovsek – Westminster (Colo.) Little League

  • League Role: Treasurer, Vice President of the Challenger Division
  • Occupation: Tobacco Prevention Specialist

A Little League volunteer since 2008 when her children began playing, Angie Kogovsek joined the Board of Directors in 2015 as the league’s secretary before soon moving into the role of Treasurer. After having to cancel the Challenger Division in 2020 due to the pandemic, Ms. Kogovsek stepped up to serve as the Vice President of the division and ensure the children of her community have the opportunity to play. In addition to her role with Little League, Ms. Kogovsek also runs the Tobacco Prevention and Education Program for the City and County of Denver.

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Keith “Shaheed” Minder – University East Little League (Charlotte, N.C.)

  • League Role: League President
  • Occupation: Software Architect

Referred to as a baseball pioneer in Charlotte, North Carolina, Keith “Shaheed” Minder has been committed to creating a welcoming atmosphere for players of all backgrounds to get out and play ball as part of the Little League Urban Initiative. Over the years, Mr. Minder has built a foundationally strong program rooted in leadership, honor, and integrity, while giving hundreds of kids the ability to learn life lessons on and off the field. Because of his unrelenting work ethic, enrollment in University East Little League has increased every year since he has been at the helm.

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Jean Toler – Dublin (Calif.) Little League

  • League Role: Vice President of Softball
  • Occupation: Marketing Manager

After more than 20 years of inactivity, the Little League Softball program in Dublin, California, was resurrected behind the leadership of Jean Toler, providing more than 100 kids the opportunity to play in its first year back. In addition to offering a fall season opportunity, Ms. Toler also worked with local high schools to provide free softball clinics and introduce new kids to the game while providing mentorship and role model opportunities within the community.

To learn more about the Little League Community Heroes program, and to nominate a Community Hero in your league, visit LittleLeague.org/CommunityHeroes.