Fred Darling has been a supporter of youth activities for more than 35 years.
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Mich., Darling came to Las Vegas in 1970 and was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base. As an officer in the Air Force, he spent one year in Southeast Asia and one year in Northern Michigan before returning to Las Vegas. He made Las Vegas his permanent home in 1975 after leaving the military.
Darling served as the president of the Paradise Little League in the late 1970’s, before moving to American Legion Baseball in 1981. The next year, he decided to sponsor and manage a team of Valley High School-based players.
These teams became a national powerhouse and propelled the growth of Legion baseball in Las Vegas. His Darling’s 7-Eleven teams, named for the convenience stores that he owned at the time, became the model for success. His 1984 squad was the first to play in a national competition. The Vikings finished third in the American Legion World Series held in New Orleans. The program returned to prominence in 1986, finally losing in the World Series title game in Rapid City, S.D.
In 1990, after six years, Darling stepped away as manager. He later became the Legion’s state baseball chairman in 1993 and used this position to bring the American Legion World Series to Las Vegas.
Through an endowment agreement with the Amanda and Stacy Darling Memorial Foundation, the city received $1 million dollars for maintenance and operations of the Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center. The center court is named in memory of the late Ronald Craig Darling.
The Darling Family has long been involved with sponsorship of youth activities and an annual memorial tournament. The family lost their two daughters, Amanda and Stacy in a tragic automobile accident in 1993. The family later suffered another tragedy when son Ron was lost in a motorcycle accident in 2001. All were avid tennis players and supporters of the Nevada Tennis Association. Through the foundation, Darling has annually raised thousands of dollars for local charities.
Darling was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1998 and overcame the disease through treatment and a stem cell transplant.
He currently is a franchisee owner of five 7-Eleven convenience stores.
Born: March 07, 1933
Claim to Fame: Darling's American Legion teams were national powers, and he led the first Nevada team in the Legion World Series.