Utah's Olympic hopeful and champion archer Denise Parker took another step on Friday toward her goal of getting to Seoul, South Korea, later this summer.
After Gov. Norm Bangerter declared July 15 Denise Parker Day, Meadow Gold Dairy presented the young archer with a check for $4,050. The money will be donated to the National Archery Association's amateur athlete fund.Money collected from the Deseret News Denise Parker trust fund is also sent to the amateur athlete fund. It will be used to help send Denise's family and coach to the 1988 Olympics in September.
Bangerter congratulated Denise on her accomplishments and said he hopes she'll bring back an Olympic medal to Utah. He signed an official proclamation declaring Denise "a symbol of all the outstanding youth in Utah."
Denise said she was honored by the governor's proclamation. "I'm really happy about the donation; now my parents and coach can be with me (at the Olympics)," Denise said, promising to do her best at the Olympic competition.
The Deseret News kicked off fund-raising efforts for Denise in February by establishing the Denise Parker Olympic Fund. Several Salt Lake businesses and residents have made donations, but additional funds are still needed.
Denise's coaching and tournament expenses have already cost the Parkers more than $15,000. Their financial resources are limited, and in order to send Denise's parents, (Denise's ticket and Olympic expenses are paid for) and coach to the Olympics, the family must come up with about $12,000.
Denise's mother, Valerie Parker, will have her trip paid for by the Seagram's Co., which is sponsoring a national program to send parents to the Olympics.
"This donation is a welcome addition. It will cover the cost of sending her coach, which is a big relief," she said.
Denise's coach, Ted Strickland, lives in Arkansas, and without the money brought in by fund-raisers, Mrs. Parker said, they wouldn't have been able to afford to send Denise to train with him.
Denise, who has been suffering from tendonitis in her shoulder, has not been training for about three weeks. But she plans to resume training within a week and travel to Arkansas to work with Strickland before leaving for Seoul.
Denise and her family will leave for Los Angeles on Sept. 8. From there they will proceed to Japan for five days and then travel on to Korea. Denise's father said his daughter's goal in Seoul is to make the finals and finish in the top eight.
Not a bad goal for a 14-year-old.