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Key to the City to be awarded posthumously

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PARMA, OH -- Mayor Tim DeGeeter will honor metal drummer Jim Konya Jr., who recently passed away at 44 after a series of strokes, with a Key to the City presented posthumously. Konya’s parents, Jim Sr. and Linda, will accept the award on their son’s behalf at the presentation, scheduled for Nov. 19 at 6:45 p.m. at the United Auto Workers Local 1005 Hall, 5615 Chevrolet Blvd.

Nearly 500 people have expressed an interest in attending the presentation to witness the honor that the musician told friends he wished for.

The Mayor was notified of Konya’s love for his hometown by a dedicated group of the musician’s friends who started a petition for the honor. The petition gained more than 1,700 signatures in less than 24 hours. Konya has been called “the heart and soul of the Cleveland metal music scene for more than 30 years” by local music writers.  

The creator of the petition asked that the Key to the City be presented as a way of symbolizing “a great man and a great citizen of your city.” Another friend summed up Konya’s devotion to Parma this way: “(Jim) … was the man from Parma, and Konya IS Parma. … People in Thailand, Indonesia, Pacific Islands, people who don't even know a word of English, know one word after tour encounters. They know the word ‘Parma.’ They get that from him.”

Another fan said in a Facebook post, “I, like I'm sure many metalheads outside of Ohio, know of Parma because of Konya and have always wanted to check out Parma solely because of him. Kudos to Mayor DeGeeter for looking beyond the stage persona and giving recognition to a great man who always championed the state and city he called home.”

Mayor DeGeeter said, “It became clear to me very quickly that Jim Konya is very important to many people, and that Parma was very important to Jim Konya. This is the right thing to do, and I am honored to do it.”

The Key to the City presentation is open to the public.