Events & Workshops, Fathership, Men, Our Family

My Dad Rocks Event celebrates fatherhood in Middletown |

Celebrate Fatherhood is scheduled for June 11 in Middletown. Previously the event has honored fathers who have contributed to the community. Pictured are back row L-R: Brian Million, Daniel Colson, Mark Million and previous honoree, Terry Million. Seated L-R Garnett Million, Brandon Million and Tim Million.

MIDDLETOWN — A Middletown group is working on a project that will celebrate fathers called “My Dad Rocks.” The group is also celebrating men who have been shining examples of what a father should be.

The idea for the project comes from the 3 R Development organization, which is led by Dr. Celeste Didlick-Davis, who said the entire idea will culminate in an event that will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 11 at the Robert “Sonny” Hill Community Center and Frederick Douglass Park in Middletown.

“We really have tried with some success of having this in the past, but we want to really get the effort up and going and keep it going,” Didlick-Davis said.

The day starts with breakfast and registration and then various workshops and speakers will be featured throughout the day, including Kevin Harris from the Ohio State extension office.

Matthew Smith, and Abdul Shakur, who have been very active with the Celebrate Fatherhood-Middletown group will join some former Middletown athletes during some presentations. Comedian Brian Million will perform along with Ralph Farley, a spoken word artist from Dayton.

The My Dad Rocks part of the program offers tributes by young people and members of the community to fathers or mentors that helped change their lives. Special mention will be made to men over the age of 80 who have spent their lives helping the community and their own families.

“We are creating an awareness of what the skills and attributes are of an all-star father,” Shakur said. “We are following the mission statement of the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood (OCF). They are moving these ideas across the state to help make fathers better providers.

Ohio will receive nearly $10 million over the next five years to help new and expectant low-income fathers with children under age one and fathers ages 16 to 24 to become more effective and nurturing parents, improve their families’ long-term economic stability, and build strong, lasting relationships with their children according to OCF.

The agency is challenging counties across the state to provide opportunities for fathers to become better parents, partners and providers.

“We want to get that message spread here in Butler County. It is already getting spread in Montgomery, Clark and Hamilton counties,” Shakur said.

The event is open to all members of the community and Shakur said that a disconnect happens when people think an event is open to only one segment of the community.

“Everybody is welcome and we want to see people from all walks of live from the county and community to show up,” he explained. “This is to help everybody come together for something special.”

Of course he wanted to entice people with a special event. The Grill Off for bragging rights as Middletown’s finest griller will be announced at the end of the evening. There is a cash prize for the winner.

The event received financial support from the Partnership to Reduce Infant Mortality, The Middletown Community Foundation and private donors according to Didlick-Davis.

Source: My Dad Rocks Event celebrates fatherhood in Middletown |


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