ArticleID: 152
Date: 6/17/2002
Written By: Captain Jackson

by Captain Jackson

Few people realize just how many single fathers actually consider their relationship with their offspring important. According to the typical press story, most single male parents are "deadbeat dads", abandoning their children at the same time they abandon their unmarried sexual mates (in actuality, less than 12% do not pay their child support and less than 20% "abandon their children". We only hear these negative facts so often because it makes "good copy" in the press). However, thanks to Bob Pletcher, the First Annual Father`s Fair was held at Parkside Middle School Saturday, June 8th.

As a "First Annual", the attendance wasn`t what was hoped for but the people who came certainly had a great time. The main activities were held in Parkside`s "Dome" where athletic performances are usually held. Many local charity and non-profit organizations were on hand, including the Jackson City Police with a new model of their police cruiser which many children enjoyed sitting in and learning about. And, for the very young there were many inflatable slides and jungle gyms to play on.

Among the highlights were a couple of seminars. One about pet laws was held by Josh Landenburger, who works with Bob Pletcher, and is a father himself. Another, which caught the attention of most adults as well as many children was the inspirational seminar and speech by former Chicago Bears NFL player and MVP Mike Singletary.

For over an hour, Mike held his audience of around a hundred and forty adults and children in awe as he told the story of his life. Being the youngest child of many from a poor family in Houston, Texas, he had set his goals at the age of twelve and pushed himself to the success he has become. Now retired from football, he spends his time traveling the country expressing to fathers the need to be there for their children. And what a role model he was for those who listened. As a single father myself, I have tried to impress the same values on my own daughter of twelve years.

For her, the goal is to become a commercial pilot. With three hours of flying time "under her belt" she realizes, like Mike, it is HER job to keep up her goal and her grades in order to be accepted by a college and earn the aviation degree she dreams about. And like Mike, she realizes it is important to set these goals early in life and persist with them until they are achieved.

Even though this event was called "Father`s Fair", many mothers were in attendance as well. And though this seemed like a fun event for the younger children, hopefully it was also an education for all the single parents who attended as well.

Copyright 2002, CFC

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