The Oneida County History Center has named Lou Parrotta the 2021 Volunteer of the Year. Volunteers are essential to the daily operation and long-term care of the organization, and are an invaluable asset to the community. Lou was chosen by his co-volunteers, staff, and the Board of Directors for his enthusiasm, loyalty, and many contributions to the History Center.
Much of Lou’s focus is on local history. He holds memberships with a number of local historical societies and has served as City Historian for the city of Utica since 2007. He is the co-author of two books, Gloves Along the Mohawk, which tells the stories of local ballplayers who made it to the Major Leagues, and Forest Hill Cemetery: The Stories Behind the Epitaphs. Lou was a member of the Board of Trustees of Oneida County History Center for almost a decade, and served as president from 2011 to 2016. Today he is an active volunteer with the organization.
Lou says that his move from board member to volunteer at the History Center was a “natural transition.” His contributions include writing historical articles for local publications, hosting outreach tables at places like the Oneida County Public Market, and assisting in the research library. Recently he emceed the Historical Hall of Fame and Living Legends Awards Celebration. One nominator summed up Lou’s contributions “…he is a loyal supporter. As part of his outreach for the History Center, he takes every opportunity to promote it. His voice is heard in the community.” He is humble about being named Volunteer of the Year and says there are others who are more deserving, but Lou Parrotta is definitely an asset to the organization who does deserve these accolades.
Lou currently teaches at Proctor High School and is actively involved in many aspects of the local community. He is presently Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of People First/Utica Municipal Housing Authority and serves on the Board of Trustees for Forest Hill Cemetery. Aside from his interest in history, Lou professes to be a “baseball addict.” He is also a collector of baseball cards, Utica memorabilia, political buttons, and autographs.
The History Center staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors would like to thank and recognize Lou Parrotta for his dedicated service to the History Center and the community. We are grateful for enduring, enthusiastic volunteers and community members like Lou. Without them, we simply would not exist.
The Oneida County History Center is a private 501(c) (3) not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to preserving the history, heritage, and culture of the Greater Mohawk Valley for present and future generations. Please contact the History Center at 315-735-3642 or visit the OCHC website (www.oneidacountyhistory.org) for additional information.
Photo Caption: Volunteer of the Year, Lou Parrotta