Montgomery County's Office of Strategic Initiatives and Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County's annual Fatherhood events are taking place June 16 and 17.
The weekend of father-focused fun kicks off with the 7th annual "We the Fathers of Montgomery County" Banquet on Friday, June 16, from 6-9 p.m. at the Sinclair Conference Center, 444 W. Third Street.
The banquet includes inspiring speakers, like Judge Walter H. Rice and two returning citizens who will share how they reconnected with their children after incarceration. There will also be a buffet, prize giveaway, live music and a father/child fashion show sponsored by Clothes That Work.
"This event is the perfect example of what our Fatherhood Initiative is designed to do," said Commission President Debbie Lieberman. "It brings fathers and their children together, shares important resources and encourages strong connections and parental presence."
Research shows parental presence is critical for a child's social and emotional development, education, happiness and more. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative, children who grow up in a father- absent home are:
- At four times greater risk of poverty
- Two times greater risk of infant mortality
- Seven times more likely to become pregnant as a teen
- Two times more likely to drop out of school
- More likely to have behavioral problems, commit a crime, go to prison, face abuse and neglect and more likely to abuse drugs
"Not every county has a department devoted to fathers," said Michael Newsom, Fatherhood Director. "Dads are often underrepresented within programs that serve children and families, so we are working every day to fill that gap and strengthen each father’s relationship with their child."
The day after the banquet, dads will trade their suits and ties for shorts and t-shirts for the free Celebrate Fatherhood event. The whole family is invited to Levitt Pavilion at 134 S. Main Street from 10 a.m. to 3
p.m. on Saturday, June 17, for some free BBQ, games, live music, a resource fair and more.
“The event gives us the opportunity to educate our fathers and families on the health services and resources available to them and encourages parents to practice healthy habits with their kids," said John Payne, Community Health Advocate, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County's Men’s Health Initiatives.
Free parking will be available for event-goers at the Reibold Parking Garage at 117 South Main Street.
To purchase banquet tickets and learn more about Montgomery County's Fatherhood Initiative, visit bit.ly/MCOHFatherhood