August 02, 2020

Rumford man receives Jeffrey Parola Award

On May 13, Eric Richard of Rumford will receive his legal technology degree from the University of Maine’s University College in Bangor. Two days after graduation, he continues that education with a 100-hour criminology course. In June, he will send out his resume hoping to find a full- or part-time position in law enforcement.

In that resume, he will provide a very special piece of information: He is the recipient of the first Jeffrey Parola Award.

The award honors the young Maine state trooper and former Hampden police officer killed last year in the line of duty. The significance of the award is highly personal. It is given by the college students to the classmate they would most like to have as their partner.

Richard said Mary Louise Kurr, chairwoman and associate professor of legal technology, told him earlier that he was a candidate, “but then she phoned me and told me it was mandatory — a must — that I attend the ceremony,” Richard said. At the event last Tuesday were the late trooper’s father, mother, and his wife.

“It’s definitely a great honor,” Richard said, “especially because my classmates actually chose me.” He appreciates knowing his peers hold him in such high regard.

Richard was familiar with the Parola accident, which touched many people. Last Christmas, local people displayed blue lights in sympathy and to honor the fallen trooper.

“We actually talked about it in class,” Richard said of the incident. “We were aware of what had happened.” Ultimately, the first recipient of the Parola award hopes to join the FBI or work as an investigator in some other branch of government.

Upcoming for all those who share memories of Jeff Parola and honor the work of those carrying on in his stead, is National Police Week May 14-20.

Concerns of Police Survivors Inc. urges citizens to fly a blue ribbon from car antennas that week to acknowledge the supreme sacrifice of public safety officials, and to indicate support of law-enforcement agencies.

A National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day Service will be celebrated May 15 in the nation’s Capitol, where thousands of blue ribbons will fly on the Capitol Mall honoring nearly 160 law enforcement officers killed in 1994.

Sunday is a special day for family and friends of the late Rev. Elizabeth Morris who will gather for a reception in her honor from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Maine Christian Association’s Wilson Center in Orono.

Morris was killed in a June 1993 accident on the Maine Turnpike near Biddeford when her car’s windshield was hit by a piece of concrete that fell from a bridge.

Those who knew and loved the woman who served as Protestant chaplain at the university from 1990 until her death are invited to participate in the event. Her parents, Dr. and Mrs. Anthony Morris, will present a gift from her estate to the university.

Friends and colleagues have pursued her dream by initiating the Student Community Outreach Program Experience and will introduce SCOPE’s first interns Sunday. Also during the reception, the first Elizabeth Morris Peacemaker Award will be presented.

Guests are encouraged to bring a written or pictorial momento to be placed in an album for her parents. For more information, call the Wilson Center at 866-4227.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine will benefit from a sports-card show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Maine Coast Mall in Ellsworth. The organization grants wishes of children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Saturday’s show features more than 20 local dealers and a silent auction with sports memorabilia valued at more than $3,000. Former major league baseball pitcher Carlton Willey will sign autographs for a $3 donation to the foundation.

Don’t forget the Bangor Area Clergy Fellowship CROP Walk at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7, starting at the Paul Bunyan statue on Main Street.

Last year, $1,800 of the money raised during the 10-kilometer event was distributed to food cupboards and soup kitchens in the Bangor-Brewer area.

If you are interested in participating, you may call the Rev. Paul Martz, 989-7350, or the Rev. Ron Walden, 942-8320.

Please don’t head for East Corinth today to watch an all-equestrian parade. Wait until the parade date, May 13.

Parade organizer Melody Tasker has received some panic phone calls from people who don’t have their costumes and floats ready.

Melody and I decided to omit the deadline date to allow for late entries, and I inadvertently left out May 13 as the actual date of the parade.

We’ve since learned that pianist Dennis Parsons will accompany the entertainers following the parade.

Our apologies for any confusion. Keep working on those floats, or plan on watching them pass by in East Corinth, next Saturday.

The Standpipe, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.

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