I Spy Someone making a difference.
The Parkers: from media service to community serviceby Ashley Morris
The colloquial apples haven’t fallen far from the proud Parker family tree.
Brothers David and Patrick “Pat” Parker, who have worked in media services at Coastal Carolina University since the threading of its first movie reel, inherited a solid work ethic, service and pride in their community from parents who were pillars in the town of Aynor.
“Mom was a teacher, a high school basketball coach who won four state titles, and she was active in the church,” says David, the elder brother at age 52. “Dad was president of the Aynor Area Development Corporation, mayor of Aynor and World War II veteran active in the American Legion and Lion’s Club.”
David and Patrick, 48, latched onto the Parker family tradition of civic service throughout high school, with Patrick volunteering as a lifeguard at the community pool and David serving as an emergency medical technician (EMT) at age 18.
There was no stopping the boys when they first stepped foot onto the CCU campus as freshmen in 1976 and 1980. In addition to involvement in student life, David became a charter member of the Aynor Volunteer Rescue Squad in 1979; currently, he’s treasurer of the squad. Pat came on board the crew in 1981 and currently serves as assistant chief. “Aynor was and is the only community [in Horry County] not supported by a hospital, so there was a real need for this rescue squad,” says Pat. “The county barely staffed an EMT squad.”
“And Pat was behind getting the new building for the rescue squad and a new ambulance and uniforms through grant writing and fundraisers,” says David. “There’s only one air ambulance landing pad in the county, and it’s based in Aynor.”
Pat, who says he was always interested in law enforcement, serves as a state constable through the governor’s office and SLED in emergency situations, such as hurricanes and big events like Biker Week. Leaving no branch of public service unmanned, David is also active with the Aynor Fire Department.
On Sunday mornings, Pat and David, who is president of the Methodist Men of Aynor, are often recruited for their talents in media to oversee the sound systems in the sanctuary of their church, Aynor United Methodist. They installed and wired this church and several others throughout the area. It’s what they were trained to do here at CCU.
“I think we’ve wired just about every building on campus,” says Patrick. “We’ve been here from the ground floor.”
The Parkers began as student workers in media services, originally a small learning resource center for signing out audio/video equipment and making copies. “I remember filming teachers’ presentations for students in the school of education and thinking, ‘This is what I want to do,’” says David.
They graduated with degrees in business management and business administration. David went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina.
Today, David (director) helps out behind the camera -- and fills in where needed in filming, production and editing -- for “Coastal Today,” the weekly show produced on campus. David, along with Patrick, advanced production manager, also help film special events, lectures, commencement and some athletic events. Pat specializes in more of the technical/engineering operations, setting up satellite downlinks, teleconferences and more.
“We’ve learned so much through the years,” says David. “But one thing we’ve always done is stay conscious of the image we put out there. We really take pride in this institution.”
“Coastal has really opened doors for us,” says Patrick.
David, for instance, helps in filming CCU's “Military Memoirs” for HTC, and the brothers have helped with Crimestoppers for Horry County with crime scene video analysis, plus promotional videos for the United Way and the Shriners. “We look at our jobs as being members of a community service organization, a civic outreach,” says Pat.
“CCU is a special place, and having the opportunity to work here is one of the biggest blessings of my life,” says David.