VIENNA - Sue Rhymer was surprised and humbled at being chosen Vienna Christmas parade marshal this year.
Rhymer, director of the Good Samaritan Center at Wayside United Methodist Church in Vienna, said Wednesday she was shocked to hear the news only three days after her mother passed away.
"It's a nice surprise for today," she said after returning home from the funeral home. "It's obviously an honor."
Photo by Mandi Cardosi
Christmas parade director Cynthia Buskirk reads Santa’s list of naughty and nice Vienna residents a little over a week before the Christmas parade on Dec. 8.
Rhymer has volunteered with the food pantry for about 15 years and plans to retire Jan. 31 next year.
She said working at the center was a way of giving back and doing what the "Lords asks us to do."
"It's been my mission for 15 years," she said.
The Vienna Christmas parade will be Dec. 8 at 11 a.m.
Cynthia Buskirk, parade director for the second year, said the applications to participate in the parade can be found at the city's website, www.vienna-wv. com.
This year the parade will include three marching bands, motorcycles, trailers and horses. The entry fee in the parade is at least one case of non-perishable goods. Items to consider donating are a can of spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, a can of pumpkin, chicken broth, cake frosting, tuna, pork and beans.
"Everybody donates a case of non-perishable items to the Good Samaritan Center," Buskirk said.
The food pantry is at 3001 Grand Central Ave. in Vienna. Rhymer said the center is supported by 14 local churches and gave out 162 Christmas boxes to 98 children last year.
"We (the center) get wonderful support from churches and the community," she said.
After coordinating the parade as an assistant for 16 years, Buskirk said she took over the reins last year. Line up for the parade will be at Grand Central Avenue and 47th Street beginning around 9:30 a.m.
It is important to sign up ahead of time to verify a number and spot in the parade, Buskirk said.
"Hopefully the sign-up sheet online will make it more convenient for everyone," she said. "I have to know whether it's a car, motorcycle or horse."
There will be two parade marshals this year, said Buskirk. The director picks them every year.
Buskirk said she is glad Rhymer can be honored for her efforts throughout the community.
"We try to pick an outstanding person," said Buskirk. "Last year it was a fireman and policeman of the year."
The other parade marshal will be determined at a later date, as Tim Phillips of Vienna was asked but had to decline. Phillips, a junior at Ohio State University, said he will be at a swimming training camp in Florida during the parade.
Phillips was in the running for the 2012 U.S. Olympic swim team.