|With special guest (expectant dad), Henrik Lundqvist from the NY Rangers|
Dads matter – not just on Father’s Day, but everyday in the lives of their children. About two years ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg established the Mayor’s Fatherhood Initiative (NYC Dads) to “strengthen New York City’s families by helping dads take a more active role in their children’s lives.” The goals of the initiative include making all city agencies as “father friendly” as possible and championing the (same) message (that so many dad bloggers, dad groups, and journalists are) that DADS MATTER.
“The (2nd annual) NYC Dads Matter Award recognizes fathers from throughout the city who have overcome challenges to become positive and consistent influences in the lives of their children.” Last night, I had the honor to go to Gracie Mansion to attend the powerful award ceremony for the ten “NYC Dads Matter” award recipients. We were excited and rooting on one of our NYC Dads Group members, Christopher Astacio, who was one of the deserving recipients. Despite a constant battle with stomach cancer, Chris is a constant, active, and engaged dad to his two children. His youngest daughter, Cristina, has autism and Chris is dedicated to fundraising and supporting research while he works full time as a teacher & as well as pursuing his Masters degree. All of the other deserving award recipients had similar stories of overcoming significant challenges to be the best dad they can be. Only ten dads are selected, but Alan Farrell, the NYC Fatherhood Services Coordinator, mentioned that 175 dads were nominated for the prestigious award this year.
Even though Mayor Bloomberg was not on hand (he was downtown with President Obama at the World Trade Center Memorial), Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs, Alan Farrell, & special guest (expectant dad) Henrik Lundqvist, of the New York Rangers, made the entire evening feel very special. For me, it was a wonderful feeling to be attending an event where fatherhood was front and center and the focus of the conversation. I wanted to share some pictures to best capture the essence of the event. Hat tip to Mayor Bloomberg, Alan Farrell, and the rest of their team for what they have accomplished in two short years & for their future plans on fatherhood in New York City.
|NYC Dads Group member, Chris Astacio with NYC Fatherhood Service Coordinator, Alan Farell, Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs, & Henrik Lundqvist|
|Enjoying the Grounds of Gracie Mansion|
|With Proud dad Chris Astacio & his daughter Cristina|
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