Gracie Mansion – Barbeques and dads go together – add ceremonial honor and you have a winner. On Thursday, June 12 between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. N.Y.C. mayor Bill de Blasio, first lady Chirlane McCray and fatherhood services coordinator Alan S. Farrell honored fatherhood and ten committee selected fathers by a special commendation called the NYC Dads Matter Award. The annual award is a hallmark of NYC Dads also called The Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative, which was established in 2010. The expected inclement weather was held back as good dads, good company and good food combined to make this very well done award ceremony/barbeque a success.
Each father honored was a N.Y.C. resident, active in their child’s life, active in their community and making progress as a man. The ten fathers honored were:
• Mohammad Akram - Brooklyn
• Barrington Barrett – Brooklyn
• Terence Brummell – Brooklyn
• Mynor Escobar – Queens
• Robert Graham – Brooklyn
• Jason Greene – Queens
• Andre Harrison – Staten Island
• Marco Martinez – Brooklyn
• Abraham Padin – Bronx
• Bruce Parker - Harlem
The honorees, their families, dignitaries and other guests of the Mayor Bill de Blasio partook of the high quality barbeque beneath a huge welcoming white tent and ate at picnic tables in Gracie Mansion’s manicured backyard. The serving staff was excellent at the posh catered event.
All in attendance then gathered beneath the tent for the ceremony. NYC’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, expressed the importance of the event and fatherhood in general by recounting he relationship with own father. She spoke of his presence, his silence and his principles. “Anything worth doing is worth doing right…take care of your body, because once you have your health you’ve won half the battle”, she recounted his consistent reminders. She also lauded the mayor’s impact and role as a dad, calling him her “parenting partner”.
Mayor de Blasio recalled the positives and negatives of his relationship with his father, who was a veteran effected by his participation in World War II. He not only applauded the dads that were being honored, he spoke of adding city-wide Pre-K and afterschool programs for middle school aged children to lessen the burden on families.
Alan Farrell, NYC Fatherhood Services Coordinator and new dad himself of an adorable 8 month old son, Samuel, announced each award recipient.
The 2014 NYC Dads Matter Awards – good dads, good company, good food, good time.