Charlie Parks, a Pasadena resident of over 50 years and retired from the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, now dedicates his time to offering support to families in some of the most trying times.
As vice president of the 100 Club of Anne Arunel County, Charlie Parks and other club members raise funds to support the families of fallen uniformed public service personnel, such as police and firemen.
“The 100 Club is an organization of concerned citizens who are trying to be supportive of uniformed personnel and public safety agencies in Anne Arundel County,” Parks said.
“We hold a fundraiser each year, and we do other minor things, but the point is to collect some funds so that in the event that one of our personnel falls in the line of duty, we would be there to assist the family with immediate bills that they may not be able to handle as a result of the death.”
Parks says that when he worked for the fire department for over 30 years, he was very familiar with the 100 Club. And after he retired, he decided he wanted to get involved.
“We hope that we will never need the money we raise, but in the event that something happens to someone in the line of duty, we have the funds to help,” Parks said.
Parks said the banquet honors “unsung heroes,” or those who go above and beyond their call-of-duty.
“A lot of times people think that you have to do something amazing to be rewarded for your outstanding performance as an employee, but sometimes we try to get some folks who do some more stuff behind the scenes and don’t always get the notoriety they should,” he said.
During the event, the club also presents the Duke G. Aaron III scholarship named for a fallen officer. Aaron, who worked for the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, was killed in July 2004 while on duty. He was 29-years-old.
“Each year we award a scholarship of approximately $5,000 to a public service agency employee who is going to school to further their career,” Parks said. “We award that money because we feel that the better educated the individuals are the less likely they are to have an accident. Then they can bring the information they received back to the department and hopefully help everyone.”
The 100 Club currently has about 125 members, but is always accepting more. Parks said that the best part of being involved is seeing all that others are willing to do.
“I think one of the best things is that you see that there are so many good people who are interested in taking care of the folks whose sworn duty is to take care of us,” Parks said.
For more information on the 100 Club, including how to become a member, please visit 100 Club website. For more information about the upcoming banquet, including information about tickets, please see this event listing.