15 Sep 2014
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Names in the News: Peter Parente

The native New Rochellean said veterans deserve to be thanked on Memorial Day.

Despite the city's financial woes, the Memorial Day Parade is fully funded and will take place as scheduled May 28 beginning at 10:30 a.m. with a brief ceremony at Memorial Plaza, followed immediately by the parade. Patch caught up with organizer Peter Parente while he was working on getting the floats ready for the parade.

Name: Peter Parente
Age: 44
Occupation: Soundview Service Center Gas & Auto Repair, a family owned business in Mamaroneck and Old Greenwich, CT, with brothers Ralph and Joseph
Family: Wife Jennifer and 6-1/2-year-old son Peter Michael Jr. 

Q: How long have you been a New Rochelle resident?
A: Born and raised, 44+ years. 

Q: Why is it important to have the Memorial Day parade?
A: It gives New Rochelle an opportunity to show their appreciation and support of our troops. Our military is 100 percent volunteer—that's amazing! 

Q: What feelings do you have when you participate in the ceremony and the parade?
A: Great pride, because I represent all those Veterans who could not be there, alive or passed on. They all deserve our thanks.  

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Q: How many people volunteer to work on the parade?
A: Months prior, up to a dozen. We start in January to prep. On the day of, we have several dozen starting at 5 a.m. until 8 p.m. to cover all venues.

Q: What in your background makes you compelled to volunteer in community activities?
A: My parents. Whether they were volunteering at St. Joe's Church or Youth Tackle or the Boy's Club or the Cub Scouts. My mom and dad were very involved in the community. 

Q: What do you say to young people about civic responsibility and helping out in the community?
A: Give as much as you can, because if you're able to give, your blessed. Don't stop giving. It makes people feel good!

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