The Illinois Association of Park Districts will recognize La Grange Park Little League President, Nicholas Michaels, with a statewide award at the Illinois Association of Park Districts’ (IAPD) 2023 Best of the Best Award Gala on Friday, October 20, 2023.
Coach Michaels will be honored with the statewide “Good Sportsmanship” award for fostering a uniquely positive parent and spectator culture in La Grange Park, supporting healthy competitive development among youth athletes, and navigating a historical shift in the partnership between the Community Park District of La Grange Park and La Grange Park Little League that resulted in the creation of the first affiliate agreement between the organizations in 70 years.
In addition to his role as president of the La Grange Park Little League, Coach Michaels serves as a LGPLL Coach, Lagrange Youth Basketball Coach, and referee. He and his wife Missy help organize the annual La Grange Park Neighbors Helping Neighbor Fundraiser, which raises tens of thousands of dollars each year for local families in need.
Under his leadership, La Grange Park Little League worked with the Community Park District of La Grange Park when it became clear that the care of the 9 ballfields under the park district’s jurisdiction was no longer feasible without a clear plan and financial support from the Little League. Coach Michaels lead the efforts that resulted in an agreement to maintain and improve the ballfields and create a higher quality park experience for all residents and visitors in La Grange Park.
According to Jessica Cannaday, Community Park District’s Executive Director, “Nic Michael’s philosophy, attitude, humor, perseverance, and vision exemplify what good sportsmanship can do to build community and grow leaders.”
The Community Park District’s nomination of Coach Michaels for the 2023 Good Sportsmanship honor was selected above numerous nominations from other park districts, forest preserves, conservation and recreation agencies throughout the state. The IAPD’s Best of the Best Awards Gala provides an opportunity to recognize the outstanding contributions that park districts, board members, and citizen volunteers make each year to improve communities throughout Illinois.