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Democrats Honored with Litton Awards
April 11, 2011

Livingston County Democrats honored two of their own for leadership and community service during their annual banquet Thursday evening, April 7, 2011. The Jerry Litton Leadership Award was presented to party supporter Harry Wyse, and the Charley Litton Outstanding Democrat Award was presented to Public Administrator Sherry Parks.

CT Photo/Catherine Stortz-Ripley

Thursday's banquet had around 50 people attending and was held at FCS Financial. Livingston County East District Commissioner Ken Lauhoff served as the master of ceremonies.

The Litton awards are named for former U.S. District Congressman Jerry Litton and his father, Charley, in recognition of the younger Litton's achievements and his father's role in supporting not only his son's political ambitions, but, after the congressman's death in 1976, those of other Democrat candidates on the local, regional, state and national levels. The event marked the 31st year for the awards night.

Former award recipient Karl Rice announced Wyse as the Jerry Litton Leadership Award recipient; and Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney presented the Charley Litton Outstanding
Democrat Award to Parks.

Wyse Receives Award

In making the presentation to Harry Wyse, Rice said that the award is presented annually to an individual who reflects the qualities of Jerry Littonís contribution to community service.

Wyse was born in Keokuk, Iowa, one of eight children. His first job was on the harvest, traveling across the country, Rice said. In 1964, Wyse began working at the Ford Claycomo plant and quickly became involved in the UAW, eventually serving as vice president of Local 249. Wyse also owned a roofing company before buying the Chillicothe Bootery in 1983. In 2004, Wyse narrowly lost his bid for state representative. Wyse is the father of five children and a grandfather and a great-grandfather. Harry has worked hard to keep the Democratic party together through tough years, Rice said.

Upon receiving the award, Wyse reflected on Jerry Litton's influential character traits. "He worked hard, told the truth and never gave up," Wyse said. Wyse continued to state that he was pleased with what is happening with the Democratic party in Chillicothe. "It's not money that counts, but the people who vote that count," he said.

Parks Receives Award

Chuck Haney presented the Charley Litton Outstanding Democrat Award to Sherry Parks.
Parks was born and raised in Livingston County and was a graduate of Chillicothe High School. She has been an active member of Liberty Methodist Church and is a Sunday school teacher. She is a former longtime employee of Churchill Truck Lines and a member of Beta Zeta Sorority. Parks currently serves as treasurer for the Livingston Democratic Womenís Club.

As public administrator, Parks serves as the guardian or conservator to 85 disabled and/or incapacitated people. She keeps track of their financial needs, medical needs, clothing, food and paying the bills. She visits each of these people from throughout north Missouri on a regular basis and at Christmas she makes sure that each one receives a present - sometimes it is the only gift they receive.

Parks operated the public administratorís office out of her home but recently moved the office into the courthouse and also acquired a part-time assistant - Paula Grozinger.
Parks is a dedicated hard worker, mother of twins, a wife and a daughter, said Haney.
Upon receiving the award, Parks said she was honored. "I have always looked up to the Littons" she said. "I am very honored to have received this award."

New Club Officers

Also during the evening, new officers for the men's and women's clubs were installed with retired associate circuit court judge Barbara Lame administering the oaths of office. Officers in the Men's Democrat Club are Harry Wyse, president; Bob Staton Jr., first vice president; Tom Beedle, second vice president; Gordon Smith, secretary; and Wayne Ware, treasurer.

Officers in the Women's Democrat Club are Roze Frampton, president; Theresa Kelly, first vice president; Brenda Wright, second vice president; Chillicothe County Clerk Sherry Parks, secretary, and Livingston County Public Administrator Sherry Parks, treasurer.
Thursday's banquet was catered by Hy-Vee.

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