LMHA held its 5TH Annual Fatherhood Initiative Celebration honoring Toledo Fathers

By Christopher T. Matthews

On Saturday June 18th The Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority’s (LMHA) held its fifth Annual Fatherhood Initiative Celebration honoring Toledo fathers and enriching families through community support at Wayman D. Palmer Community YMCA 2053 N. 14th Street.

This year’s theme, ‘Dribbling With Dads’, recognized the significance and impact a father and or male father-figure can have on young impressionable children even as simple as taking time out to dribble a basketball together. An honorary Dribbling With Dads ceremony in which fathers, sons and families will dribble basketballs on a 1K course is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

Linnie Willis and Eric Williams
Linnie Willis and Eric Williams

Linnie Willis, Executive Director for LMHA, explained, “It’s more than just celebrating dads, we are celebrating father figures as well. In many households, the father may not be present and the grandfather, uncle, or brother or whomever it may be, is the father figure.  We wanted them to come together and be exposed to some of the resources that are in the community, because we know for households to be successful, for dads to be successful they need to take advantage of the resources in the community that can help them.”

Eric Williams, who is the Executive Director of the Wayman Palmer YMCA, said that this was the first time that this event has been hosted there. It provided a great opportunity to continue to keep their location connected to the community.

Michael Evans and his stepson Tee Jay Crisp
Michael Evans and his stepson Tee Jay Crisp

AAU Basketball coach, Terrance Williams, participated to lend some help to the youth. Through that initiative, it would get the fathers involved and make boys into men which will lead to make the streets and neighborhood better.

Buffalo Soldiers, Larry Badger,and  Ramale “Cobra” Fraizer -Taylor of the Buffalo Soldiers MC came to support the event and do what ever to help and give back to the community.

Michael Evans said, “I have children who participate in sport activities for the Mid-City Ryders. And, I am out here to show love and support, to and for them, and be there with them, when they are doing activities, that are positive.”

Cherry Street Mission Life Revitalization Center, University of Toledo Ryan White Program, East Toledo Family Services, Toledo Lucas County Health Department, Mercy Health Partners, Toledo Fire and Rescue Department and BCSN, Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternities were some of the community resource outlets and organizations present at the event.

Linnie Willis and Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson
Linnie Willis and Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson

Pathways was also a community sponsor.

Light refreshments were served, along with the music, fun and games for children of all ages.

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