▶️ Beloved Bend Little League leader remembered for passion, kindness

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Sam Palermo, a former president and umpire for Bend North Little League, an avid San Francisco Giants fan, and friend, left behind a legacy of hard work and kindness.

“I loved what he stood for. I loved how he made me feel like family, how he encouraged us all to treat each other like a family,” said Shelley Scarborough the Fundraising Chair for Bend North Little League.

“He was just like a grandfather amongst 12 or 13 grandchildren,” said Steve Mora a Former Coach for Bend North Little League.

Palermo passed almost two weeks ago, leaving an impact on those he spent time with enjoying the game of baseball.

Whether he was keeping score, helping beautify the fields, or taking kids on rides in his golf cart, Palermo did his best to do whatever Bend North Little League needed to succeed.

“Sam never shied away from taking on responsibility and he was really great at encouraging others to help out,” Scarborough said.

After volunteering for the league while his grandson played, Palermo quickly became the BNLL’s president.

Palermo was a pillar of support for when the League’s 12-year-old team reached the Little League World Series in 2016.

Steve Mora was one of the coaches for that team and said Palermo would do just about anything for the team without hesitation.

He shared a story about Palermo securing a cage for batting practice and getting the kids pizza during the tournament.

Palermo even approved of the bronze plaque memorializing the Little League World Series team, which you see when you enter BNLL’s field.

“And he was always about doing whatever he could to make sure that the players and the team had success,” Mora said.

Even after his grandson grew out of the league, Palermo continued to serve as an umpire and volunteer.

“We’re all so thankful for the time we were able to spend with Sam. We’re so thankful for what he brought Bend North Little League, and I think, from here on out, we’re all just trying to do better and be better just like Sam encouraged us to do,” Scarborough said.

In a message from the league about Palermo’s passing, Sam’s lively personality and passion for the game were praised. 

“Thank you, Sam, you have been an inspiration for so many of us.  We wish you Godspeed on your new journey and know you are smiling down on us from the great diamond in the sky.”

Smiling down on the league and all the hard work that will never be forgotten.

In lieu of flowers, Sam’s family encourages people to donate to Little League International and Bend North Little League to continue his legacy of giving back and encouraging kids to get out there and play some ball.

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