COVINGTON -- Lydia Parker is the Volunteer of the Year for Covington Family YMCA.
Parker has been volunteer coordinator of the annual Cheerios Challenge race since 2006. She participated in the race in 2005 and was asked by Y staff to coordinate the volunteers the following year. Since then, the race has been "the highlight of the year for me," Parker said.
"Seeing familiar faces every year is the most fun for me," she said. "The enthusiasm of volunteers and parents getting their children involved in the Y's programs is great to see. The money the race raises for the annual campaign benefits many in the community, which is so rewarding."
The success of the event is evidenced by the fact that volunteers come back year after year, she said.
Parker said she was surprised, honored and humbled to be named Volunteer of the Year, especially given that there are so many worthy volunteers who donate time to the Y. She said she loves the Y because it encourages family participation in events.
"You see lots of families running together; children and adults are included in all activities. The Y is very involved in community and giving back and making a way for people who couldn't otherwise afford to have activities for their children to improve health. Otherwise they wouldn't have a place to go," Parker said. "What other health club would work with you? They are a community-minded organization. The people, when you go in, kind of feel like family."
In addition to her involvement with the YMCA, Parker, a Covington resident, is senior branch administrator at Edwards Jones Investments. She also teaches a women's Sunday school class and is prayer coordinator for the Women's Enrichment Ministry at First Baptist Church of Covington, and serves on the board of directors for The Abiding Journey, a non-profit ministry.