Parker is Laurels Citizen of the Year

By Tony E. Windsor

Laurels newest Citizen of the Year is no stranger to the community having been a former journalist with the State Register newspaper. The Laurel Chamber of Commerce has announced that Cathy Parker of Old Church Landing, has been named this years recipient of the community award.

I am so honored to have been chosen asLaurels Citizen of the Year, Parker said.The Town of Laurel and the people who live there aremy heart and always will be. I hope to continue to give back to this wonderful town that has given me so much. Laurel is home.

Her attachment to the community of Laurel is evident when she describes why she loves the town so dearly. Laurel has a rich and diverse heritage with the cornerstone being the people who call Laurel home, she said. Many of these families can boast generations of Sussex County farmers and merchants who went to school in Laurel, shopped in Laurel and raised their families in Laurel.

Parker said the commitment Laurel citizens have to the community is evident throughout the town. Last week at the Friday night football game, the stands were packed with families and students, the high school band was amazing and large, the cheerleaders formed four rows, parents were helping in the concession, the Boosters were active, teachers were helping everywhere and the Bulldogs won. It was a small town at its best.

With a long standing involvement in community service, Parker has been a member of the Laurel Lioness, Laurel Historical Society, Laurel Alumni Association, Trap Pond Partners, Laurel Chamber of Commerce, the Reimagine Laurel Committee and the Sussex County Advisory Committee on Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities.

A lifetime Laurel native, Parker grew up in locations on Market Street, Lansing Avenue and North Central Avenue.

She is a registered nurse and practices at Nanticoke Health Services and Lifecare at Lofland Park, both in Seaford. The daughter of Jim and Ruth Goff Allen, Parker is a 1967 graduate of Laurel High School and she and husband Richard have five children, Matt, Ben, Tommy, Beth and Kit.

In the early 1990s, Parker was a journalist with the Leader & State Register newspaper and penned a weekly column, Life Goes On, that chronicled much of Laurel history and the people who call it home. Currently, in her spare time, she continues to write and is working on a childrens book that she hopes to publish in the near future.

One of the special things she appreciates about living in a small town like Laurel is that people are extremely pleasant and quick to share with her when they recall one of her newspaper columns or talk about her having been named the queen of a local television station as a young girl.

I was Miss 16 in 1965 and did promotional appearances and television spots. I am constantly amazed how many people come up to me and tell me they still have my picture when I was Miss 16, she said.

The Laurel Chamber of Commerce will honor Parker as Citizen of the Year, and Warren Reid, this years recipient of Businessperson of the Year, in a ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. at the Laurel Fire Hall. Tickets are $25 per person and a dinner will be served by the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary.

To register and purchase tickets, visit the Laurel Chamber of Commerce website at www.laurelchamber.com and hit the Events tab. The form can also be printed from the website and mailed to Laurel Chamber, PO Box 696, Laurel, DE 19956.

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