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Former CARES center director joins lawmaker’s staff

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Published:   |   Updated: July 15, 2014 at 03:58 PM

A West Pasco fixture for decades, Evie Parks has become district secretary for state Rep. Amanda Murphy, D-New Port Richey.

Parks said Friday, however, she has gotten permission from Florida House leaders to continue to help organize community events, such as the celebrity waiter luncheon on Aug. 14.

Parks said she got a tip about the job opening from her long-time friend and high-school chum Judy Parker, a legislative assistant for state Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby.

Murphy said she was delighted to hire someone like Parks who has so many connections in the community. Parks has ties with New Port Richey Rotary, Junior Service League, West Pasco Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Pasco, to name a few, Murphysaid.

Parks also will coordinate with Brian Goff, Murphy’s legislative assistant.

Murphy wanted to fill the position before her re-election campaign starts in earnest for her first full term in the November general election. Murphy won the vacant seat in a special election in October 2013 after Republican Mike Fasano resigned to be appointed Pasco tax collector.

The Democratic incumbent is waiting for the Republican primary next month to know which opponent she will face in the fall. Chris Gregg and James Mathieu are seeking the GOP nomination.

A bit more than a week ago, Parks decided to leave as director of CARES Elfers Center to take on her new duties.

Parks is proud to note that she herself is an alumni of Elfers Elementary School, the historic schoolhouse building at 4136 Barker Drive that was converted into the Elfers Center.

Since December 2012, Parks took the helm of the Elfers Center to guide the final stages of the grand reopening in May 2013 for the 100th anniversary of the building.

Parks then presided over a period when the number of visitors quadrupled to the center in the historic schoolhouse building at 4136 Barker Drive.

Her comrades at CARES were sorry to see her go, although Parks will remain in a consulting capacity to help organize special events, Brenda Martyniak reports as CARES communications director.

Parks guided 94 volunteers who worked 3,849 hours to serve 9,544 participants in myriad programs at the Elfers site, CARES CEO Bill Aycrigg said.

Before her turn at the helm of Elfers Center, Parks met many people during her roughly 25 years at HPH Hospice.

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