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The 2013 Furthering Fathering Symposium – A seed still bearing fruit - Part 1

Many great relationships and future events, workshops, encouragement  and accountability will come from what happened
Many great relationships and future events, workshops, encouragement and accountability will come from what happenedPhoto is property of the Furthering Fathering Corporation

Roosevelt, N.Y. – Many fatherhood events happened in 2013 but the highlight for Furthering Fathering was a gathering on Long Island in which GOD’s Hand was evident. The unheard of 72 degree day on November 2 was ideal for what took place at the Furthering Fathering Corporation 2013 Symposium at the renovated and plush Roosevelt Public Library auditorium. The warm climate outside was matched by the warmth and encouragement for fathers and daughters generated by the execution of hospitality, entertainment, food, panel discussion and one-man play inside. One could easily say the day and the events were encouraging and uplifting. The importance of a father's role in a daughter's life was made as vividly clear as the sky was on that day.

“The neighborhood and library need well run events like this”, said Wilton Robinson the president of the library’s board. The event ran like a well-oiled machine. LaShawn Smith, the Furthering Fathering event director, who was key in the planning and execution of the event, made note of the contributions of those near and dear to the organization. “It was beautiful to see how the families were involved and everybody did their part – everybody.” Not only was truth conveyed by the panel, but many important relationships were forged and solidified to move forward and build hope for families.

Fatherhood was elevated and the families in attendance were blessed with good information, good service and good food. The day began with delicious crumb cake donated from Staten Island’s own Alfonso’s Pastry Shoppe. Patrons also enjoyed a light breakfast as croissants, pastries, coffee, chips and juice. Lady Natalie, 1st lady of the Northside Church in Baldwin, catered the delicious cuisine that was served during the intermission. Stew chicken, Hawaiian sweet honey glazed chicken, fileted escovitch fish Mandarin meatballs tossed salad and pasta salad were all tasty.

Panelist, Pastor Mark T. Witsell of the Haven Church NYC, gave a powerful invocation as he sought the LORD to bless the day, those in attendance, the event, fatherhood and Furthering Fathering. The Gooding Dance Academy of Roosevelt then took the stage and were able to express the beauty of 'daughter-hood' in one dance routine with their younger dancers; then, with two of their best dancers, performing with Alvin Haley-esque precision and extremely high quality in a form of physical poetry exemplified the father-daughter relationship in dance.

Next, songstress and musician Beverly Burton, of the Beverly Burton Music School, melodically depicted the heart and feelings of a fatherless daughter and the difficulty of her later decisions in “There’ll Be Days”. Weeks later she would interview Furthering Fathering at Lehman College and noted “it is awesome to see men organizing, speaking on fatherhood and taking initiative – men! You have got to give it up for them!”

The epicenter of the day’s events was the panel discussion on the effects of fathers on girls and women. “The panelists were really transparent and truly gave a piece of their heart. They held nothing back”, said Lamont Jones, COO of the Furthering Fathering Corporation, who produced the jaw-dropping heart-felt video depicting the importance of dads in the lives of daughters that played after the entertainment.

Radio personality Liz Black of WBLS/WLIB emceed masterfully. The engaging and thoughtful panel consisted of: the Hon Councilman Ruben Wills, Jeremiah Sumter of 100 Black Men of Long Island, Pastor Mark T. Witsell, brand builder Theresa O'Neal, motivational speaker and author Mellisa Lambert and the pensive marketing executive Ylorie Anderson. Some of their power-packed comments and discussion point s will be covered in part two

More to come in this story and for Furthering Fathering in 2014...