Forever our #1
I continually find myself at a loss for words for all of the support and kindness and absolute love and adoration we get for Parker. Tonight, Parker’s #1 jersey was retired from the Toms River Blackhawks Hockey Club. Thank you for always keeping him within all that you do. It makes me so proud of him to see how much of an impact he had on so many. May he remain in the hearts of all of you as you #playforparker. We love you!!!
#1 Parker Nork was a young Toms River Blackhawks goaltender who played for our hockey club at the 8U Mite and 10U Squirt age levels. He was an enthusiastic boy who loved playing ice hockey, football, and lacrosse with his friends. Parker always had a smile on his face no matter what sport he was practicing or playing. He worked hard on and off the ice, had a great attitude, and always exhibited good sportsmanship in every game that he played in. On February 17, 2017, towards the end of his first season of Squirt hockey, Parker was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. On March 11th 2017, only 22 days after being diagnosed with the disease, Parker passed away due to unforeseen complications from his treatment. Parker wore the number “1” on the back of his Toms River Blackhawks jersey when he was between the pipes, and after the difficult times of his passing, his number “1” became a symbol that his Toms River Blackhawks teammates, coaches, and friends would display to remember and honor him. Our Toms River Blackhawks players started to “Play for Parker”.
With the start of the 2019-2020 travel ice hockey season upon us, the Toms River Hockey Club is proud to announce the official retirement of Parker Nork’s jersey number in his honor, and memory. The number “1” will never be worn by another Toms River Blackhawks player and his name and number will hang on a banner from the rafters of Winding River Skating Center. Retiring the number of an athlete is considered the highest honor that a club can bestow upon a player, and in that tradition Parker will forever be remembered as part of our Toms River Blackhawk hockey family.
Parker’s memory lives on in the hearts of all of our Toms River Blackhawks players, and also through Parker’s Army, a non-profit organization which was created in his name. Parker’s Army was created to give back to the community and to youth sports organizations all in Parker’s memory. They also provide funding to recreational youth sports by way of scholarships, equipment, uniforms, sponsorships and registration fees. They introduced the Parker's Army Sportsmanship Award to recognize youth athletes that display extraordinary attitudes and ethics both on and off the field which our Toms River Blackhawks players received last season, as well as the Parker's Army "Parker M. Nork Memorial Scholarship", a $5,000 scholarship to Southern Regional High School which is awarded annually. They also are heavily involved with supporting families that have young children going through cancer treatment through their Turtle Tote Sponsorship program. Parker’s Army has grown tremendously in the past few years, and also now runs sport programs such as Parker’s Army Hockey and Parker’s Army Lacrosse. Parker’s father, Coach Pete Nork, is also part of our Toms River Blackhawks coaching staff at the 12U Peewee and 8U Mite levels. Coach Pete helps our young 8U Mite players learn the goaltender position, with many young Mite players trying it for the first time, and encourages them to work hard and have fun learning a new position.
Whether your hockey player was one of Parker’s teammates, a friend, or is a new player with our hockey club this season, please help us in remembering our #1 Parker Nork by “Playing for Parker” for this 2019-2020 season.