Gregory Prayer served his country for nearly 27 years in the United States Marine Corps.

And his pride for his country and spirit for community service is as strong as ever.

Prayer embodies what a youth sports program volunteer is all about as he tirelessly and unselfishly gives everything he has to the Camp LeJeune-New River Community in North Carolina.

“It’s all about the kids,” says Prayer, this year’s recipient of the National Alliance for Youth Sports’ prestigious Parent of the Year award. “As long as you remember that it’s all about the kids then you can’t go wrong.”

The Parent of the Year award is sponsored by Nationwide, a proud supporter of the award and incredible individuals like Prayer who are making a difference in children’s lives through sports.


Prayer truly does it all.

He provides insight and direction at the pre-season coaches and parents’ meetings.

He serves as the volunteer program administrator conducting field set up and equipment checks for the youth football program.

He resolves field issues, rule interpretations and discipline issues.

And he understands the true value and importance of good sportsmanship by not only being a model of it at all times but also encouraging and reminding others, as well.

“I think it’s very important for kids to have someone be there for them, to help them, and do everything possible to help them have a positive experience,” Prayer says.

Prayer emphasizes being a team player, having fun, treating others with dignity and respect, being safe and following the rules.

“I try to lead by example,” Prayer says. “And I think that it’s very important that kids hear positive comments. I hate to hear parents yelling from the stands for their child to do something and the kids then get down on themselves.”


Prayer is loved by the kids and deeply appreciated by the community.

“Gregory Prayer is the epitome of a youth sports program volunteer and a cornerstone of the Camp Lejeune-New River Youth Sports programming,” says Christopher Williams, its youth sports manager. “He truly understands the needs of the kids and community through youth sports participation and he devotes his tireless efforts to that cause.”

And check out these incredibly impressive numbers: Prayer has provided more than 4,100 hours of volunteer service.

“He is a soft spoken, hard-working and dedicated individual providing his time and unwavering support to the children and families of the Camp Lejeune-New River community,” Williams says. “He gives wholeheartedly and expects nothing in return. Our youth sports community is a better place because of him.”

Prayer received his award during the Youth Sports Congress in Orlando, Fla. The Congress is conducted annually by the National Alliance for Youth Sports.

Parent of the Year Sportsmanship

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