ACTIVIST OF THE YEAR:
Toussaint Romain, Esq came full circle that day. From presenting the same award to his friend Braxton Winston three years ago to receiving his own. This Civil Rights Advocate was recognized for his dedication and hard work in the community.
ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR:
Bless Spencer, founder of Way Up Basketball and Club Performance Charlotte, shares his Pro Ball skills with the community, building endurance and self esteem in the city’s youth.
PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD:
Rashamod Torrance, founder of Active Dad was overwhelmingly nominated for his work with changing the narrative of Black Fatherhood.
SURROGATE FATHER OF THE YEAR:
Watching Dennis Reed Jr receive this award brought joy to my heart. Especially seeing his face when he realized former Panther Jonathan Stewart was presenting it.
Dennis is one of my most treasured friends. I’ve seen first hand how much his ‘kids’ look up to him.
He has hundreds of children. Yet none of them are biological. They’re all part of his Community Program ‘Inspire The Fire’.
Jonathan Stewart is one of their biggest supporters. He knows how much Dennis means to them.
I’ve spent a lot of time with him and his kids. Dennis proves that a Father is not always blood related.
COMEBACK FATHER OF THE YEAR:
After being presented the award by his close friend Sport E. Odie, Charles Whitfield told the story of his fight to come back after a horrific accident. A fight fueled by his desire to continue being a father to his daughter.
SENIOR FATHER OF THE YEAR:
Willie Ratchford proved that Senior doesn’t mean old. Distinguished, knowledgeable, experienced… these are all words that can easily take the place of the title Senior.
FATHER OF THE YEAR:
Dr. Stacy Lemay is well deserving of this. Hearing his children speak about him as they presented him with his award just confirmed what the community already knows. The Pastor is passionate about family and believes being a good father starts with loving the child’s mother.
I believe a Ninth award is needed to bestow up on our beloved founder Ryan Jor El.
Without his vision none of this would have taken place.
Seeing men grateful for the recognition that no one has ever given them is heartwarming. Ryan has given them much more than an award to place upon their shelf. He’s given them validation.
To Ryan, the award winners, and black fathers around the world…you ROCK!!!
A special thank you to Fin & Fino for providing the venue, our host for the event, the sponsors and my fellow committee members who made this event outshine the Sun!
For more information on our community projects or to donate to the program click Here