Parker birthday benefits Outreach

Published 10:53 am Monday, April 2, 2012

Not everyone shares their birthday with the community and asks for gifts to benefit those in need, but a local resident, Mary Parker, celebrated her 70th birthday just that way.
Asked whether she would do it again, Parker said, “Absolutely! This is the most joyous birthday I have ever had! I am grateful to so many friends who supported me and joined with me to give a gift to Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry (Outreach).”
Carol Newton, executive director of Outreach, was on hand to explain the various ways in which Outreach accomplishes its mission to help the members of this community who are unable to provide for their basic life needs. She applauded Parker for her kindness in thinking of others in the community instead of herself on her birthday. Among those attending the party were several Outreach volunteers, including some of Parker’s family members who volunteer with Outreach.
“As I look about this room, I can see the gift of giving appears to be a gene within this family,” Newton said.
The gift of music accompanied the monetary contributions shared during the four-hour celebration.
Entertainment spanned the range of musical genres, including a rarely played Mozart piece performed by Beth Child, bluegrass and folk music performed by Doyle Hogbackster (a.k.a. Andy Haynes). Juniper Walter-Eger, a fifth-grade student at Polk Central Elementary School, performed several classical numbers on the violin and the White Oak Singers and Friends sang several songs.
A Celtic music duet was performed by Janet and Cliff Joens on the harp and guitar, and Linda Eiserloh and Mary Parker sang “Step by Step the Longest March,” an inspirational song telling of the importance and power of people who work together for good. Last, but not least, Craig Kinney, the Lazy Dogs and Mountain Roots created a bluegrass toe-tapping time.
Representatives from the Thermal Belt Friendship Council, Church Women United and other groups Parker is involved with shared in the day’s events. The Congregational Church of Tryon provided refreshments and space for a joyous celebration of 70 years.
– article submitted by Wendy Thomas