on “Rolling Mondays”
by Cassie Mattia
Loveland, Ohio – There are so many reasons why Loveland is such a great community to be a part of; the biggest reason being the community is ALWAYS ready to pay it forward and give back to those who have made a significant impact in the lives of those who reside in Loveland and beyond!
Darnell Parker, the Loveland High School Women’s Basketball Coach, received devastating news in light of the 2020-2021 basketball season, that he was diagnosed with both Colon and Liver Cancer. Coach Parker decided to take a positive outlook on his Cancer diagnosis by sharing his story and experience with those that in some way had been touched by Cancer in hopes that he would provide both strength and encouragement for those struggling.
Click the article link below to read Coach Parker’s initial announcement to the community about his Cancer diagnosis.
After Coach Parker announced he had Cancer the community of Loveland as well as those who had been positively impacted by Coach Parker rallied around him giving as much love and support as possible. Not only did the community hold multiple fundraisers benefiting Coach Parker they also created the hashtag “ParkerStrong” placing it on both t-shirts and magnets that they then sold, giving the proceeds to Coach Parker and his family.
While Coach Parker was undergoing chemotherapy, the Women’s L.H.S Basketball Team dedicated their season to him, exerting that much more effort to have the most successful season possible. The Tigers ended their season going 20-4, winning the Eastern Cincinnati Conference (ECC) for the 2nd year in a row, and Coach Parker through it all was elected the 2020-2021 ECC Coach of the Year also for the 2nd year in a row!
A couple of Coach Parker’s top-performing athletes had a lot to say about him and his impact on their lives.
“Coach Parker has inspired me to never give up and to always find the silver lining in the worst of situations,” Jenna Batsch said, “He has taught me that every little hiccup in the road is just another opportunity to get better and he has inspired me to live every day with no regrets like it’s your last.”
“Coach Parker got some of the worst news you could ever get and if you hadn’t heard it, you wouldn’t be able to tell,” Tess Broermann said, “He always has a smile on his face, and I’m thankful for his ability to fight. He doesn’t live in fear but leads a life with confidence. He inspires me to not sulk in bad news but make the most out of every day because you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”
“Coach Parker is family to me, so it’s a no brainer to do what we can to help him out,” Jenna Stanton L.H.S class of 2018 and former basketball player of Coach Parker’s said, “I know that I could call him any day of the week and he’d be there for me, and you can’t say that about too many people. He’s treated me like family since the day we met and I’m so thankful I was able to play for him and Coach Keith. The Loveland community always comes out in full force to support their own so I’m excited to see the turn out for Coach Parker. He’s done so much for our community, this is the least we can do.”
Jenna now plays basketball at the College of Wooster.
Click on the image below to see Coach Parker talk all about the 2020-2021 basketball season and how he was able to coach effectively while going through chemotherapy in a Loveland Magazine TV exclusive Zoom interview!
Although Coach Darnell Parker has just recently completed round 11 of chemo treatments, he is still making a conscious effort to motivate and inspire others battling cancer to stay strong by sharing his own journey.
Coach Parker’s constant positive outlook on life and his dedication to helping L.H.S student-athletes inspired Loveland’s parents to do something extra special for Parker and his family. Beginning on Monday, April 12th, L.H.S parents Jessica Early and Jodi Stanton, and local businesses, Bishop’s Quarter, The Works, and Narrow Path Brewing Company, will be hosting “Rolling Mondays” in honor of Coach Darnell Parker.
Rolling Mondays will include basket raffles, split the pot, a “Darnell” signature cocktail, music, and a guest bartender competition in which yours truly will be competing in! A percentage of the sales generated at the business hosting the Rolling Monday will be put towards Coach Parker’s Cancer bills.
On Monday, April 12th Rolling Mondays will be held at Bishop’s Quarter with fun events going on from 6 PM until 8 PM. On Monday, April 19th Rolling Mondays will be held at The Works with a Guest Bartender Competition going on from 5 PM until 8 PM. On Monday, April 26th Rolling Mondays will be held at Narrow Path Brewing Company.
So just how did the idea of “Rolling Mondays” come about? Coach Parker supporters Jessica Early, Jodi Stanton, Scott Gordon, owner of The Works, and Loveland Magazine’s David Miller explained to us why this fundraiser is so important to them.
“Jodi Stanton and I discussed the idea of holding a fundraiser in downtown Loveland back in November when we were both organizing t-shirt fundraising. At the same time, Scott Gordon reached out asking if The Works could help support anything,” Jessica Early said, “Since the Go Fund Me and t-shirt fundraisers were going strong in November, we sort of felt it seemed best to wait until the next phase of his treatment process began.”
Early said that in addition to waiting until the next phase of Coach Parker’s treatments, they also wanted to wait to hold Rolling Mondays until vaccinations were readily available so that the event could feel safer. “We understood that our Loveland restaurants took a big hit with the Covid Pandemic and thought it would be great to combine efforts of raising funds for Darnell as well as bringing life and energy back into downtown Loveland.”
“I am so inspired by his ‘style’ of fight. I’m pretty sure most people would stop everything to focus on the fight. Darnell instead uses all aspects of his life as his fuel in the fight. Cancer robs individuals and families of energy, happiness, and positive health. No one seems to be immune from getting stuck in the web of cancer,” Early said, “The best we can do is work together as families and communities to help support those In need. Our Loveland and surrounding communities have been amazing thus far with supporting Darnell. At the same time, we (like so many others) are a community in need as we navigate thru this pandemic. I’ve been so impressed with how our local businesses have ‘hung’ in there and worked on creative ways to stay in business.”
Early shared that she knows the Loveland community will enjoy coming out to Downtown Loveland on Mondays in April to help support businesses, Darnell, and each other. “Connecting to others is so important during this time. My goal is that Darnell doesn’t have the stressor of finances while making health decisions. His battle ahead is long and there will be continued treatment and monitoring for many years.”
Jodi Stanton said, “The idea of Rolling Mondays developed from a few brainstorming conversations of ways we could help Coach Parker. The ideas were discussed early on after his diagnosis. However, we decided to wait until after the holidays and after the first couple of fundraisers including T-Shirt sales and car magnets.” Stanton explained that the idea of Rolling Mondays manifested into using multiple local restaurants/establishments and hosting the event on more than one night.
“I was actually on the interview panel for the hiring of the Varsity Women’s Basketball Coach, along with other parents and coaches. When we interviewed Coach Parker, his enthusiasm and positivity were amazing,” Stanton explained, “From day one with the program, he hit the ground running. Stanton also said that Parker made an unforgettable impact on her daughter’s high school basketball career. “The funny part is, they didn’t always see eye to eye, but, their player/coach relationship turned into something special.”
“Unfortunately, me and my family have been directly affected by colon cancer. My father was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer 17 years ago,” Stanton said, “I’m thankful that research has been expanded and there are additional treatment options available to others today fighting this awful disease. I think our Loveland Community shows time and time again why Loveland is so special. When we have someone who has given so much to the athletes in our community, this is the perfect opportunity for others to give back!”
Stanton said that she has no doubt Loveland will show up and provide support not only to Coach Parker but to our amazing restaurants and brewery who have stepped up to assist. “With the pandemic affecting our local businesses over the past year, this is a perfect chance to help out not only the Loveland businesses but Coach Parker as well. I don’t know that we have a certain monetary goal in mind. Anything we can do to help him and his fiancée, Sam, during this difficult time and to let them know they are not fighting this alone will be more than we could have hoped for. Like I mentioned earlier, Coach Parker is a special kind of guy. He invested so much time and energy into our players, our daughters, and the L.H.S Basketball program. Throughout that short time for me, he and Sam have also become two people I call friends. This is just a small opportunity to help out friends.”
Scott Gordon, the owner of The Works, talked about his connection to Coach Parker and why he holds this cause so close to his heart. “I am a Loveland High School grad ‘85 and later came back to help coach baseball for several years. I have too many connections to Cancer and hate hearing when people I know are fighting that battle,” Gordon said, “Coach Parker was my nephew Alec Gordon’s coach many years ago in Glen Este. I don’t know Coach Parker personally, but our paths have crossed a lot over the years. Our staff at The Works knows that the money raised is a small part of this, raising awareness for the ongoing battles with cancer is of course a small part. But, showing a member of our community they are appreciated and loved while battling for their life and health is what Loveland is all about.”
Loveland Magazine’s very own David Miller also weighed in on how Coach Parker has left a lasting impression on his life. “Coach is such a positive expression of all things Loveland. Watching him coach, since he has been here, has been so much fun,” Miller said, “He has a unique way of showing displeasure with an official that never seems to get him in trouble, and his coaching style during games is always to encourage and applaud his players. His constant smile is pretty contagious and it spreads to the crowd.” David added that he was delighted to be asked to help with “Rolling Mondays” and was even more gracious that Loveland Magazine was selected to be the Media Sponsor.
Here at Loveland Magazine, we encourage you to attend Rolling Mondays in support of Coach Darnell Parker. There is no better way to give back to the community than to support an individual that has given so much of himself to the community of Loveland and L.H.S. Join me on April 12th at Bishop’s Quarter as we rally around Coach Parker and his family for one awesome time in Downtown Loveland!
Check out past Loveland Magazine articles featuring Coach Darnell Parker below!
Cassie Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland. She is our Food Guru as well as Associate Editor, Columnist, and Ad Executive. Contact Cassie at [email protected] to inquire about advertising opportunities on our pages and social platforms.