It was fitting that Wayne Parson was thinking of others while he was being honored as Sugar Grove Citizen of the Year.
Parson said he was reminded of the many previous honorees who were present as he received the award during the Sugar Grove Corn Boil 2014 festivities at Volunteer Park Friday.
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"There's a lot of people that got this award that are right here in this park tonight. It's great company to be in. It's a great honor to have this," Parson said.
Village President Sean Michels and Steve Ekker, Chamber president, announced the award to a cheering throng of family, neighbors and friends, many of whom traveled great distances for this celebration and gathered on the lawn.
Parson, a fireman with the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District for 42 years and currently the fire marshal and assistant chief, has devoted his life to others during the 44 years he has been a resident.
Some have said he must sleep in his uniform since he is so involved in fire department activities.
He and his wife Kathy raised their family, which includes 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, and have been involved in many Sugar Grove activities and organizations.
He has been active volunteering for the Sugar Grove Corn Boil, coaching girls' softball, taking part in the annual Muscular Dystrophy Drives and participating in the Fire Department water fight competitions.
In addition, he was a line judge for football and a member of IHSA for 25 years.
During whatever free time he has he enjoys his hobby, woodworking.
Established in 1998 by the Village of Sugar Grove and the Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Citizen of the Year award is intended to recognize the "pioneering spirit which helps our village grow and prosper."
Local contributors to the Citizen of the Year Thank You basket include:
Sugar Grove Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Village of Sugar Grove, Avenue J, American Heartland Bank and Trust, Big Fat Soap, Castle Bank, EEI, Elburn Herald, Glancer Magazine, Oberweis Dairy, Old Second Bank-Sugar Grove, Open Range Southwest Grill, Peak for Kids, Source Therapeutic Massage, Sugar Grove Corn Boil NFP, Sugar Grove Park District, Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, TV17, Waste Management-Matt Hernandez, and Waubonsee Community College.