Eleven City Dads Group chapters around the country will ring in the Father’s Day holiday the night before with Fathers Eve — a new tradition started by one of our own members.
John Francis, co-organizer of the recently created Twin Cities Dads Group, started the event in his garage in 2012, gathering several dad friends to share food and drink along with stories about fatherhood and support in effort to become better parents. The event gradually expanded each year since and, in 2015, Fathers Eve outgrew the garage and moved to local restaurant where it received significant traditional and social media attention. The 2015 event in St. Paul, Minn., had about 120 attendees who raised more than $12,000 for dad-related charities, such as the Movember Foundation.
“I know what it has meant to me to have other dads I can talk to and share ideas with about how to help my kids,” Francis said. “It has helped my friends and a lot of other guys to know it’s OK to not have all the answers but to be able to talk through things. The trick was finding a way and a special time for dads to have that first conversation. Fathers Eve, for a lot of guys, is an important day.”
Through his recently made connection with City Dads Group, Francis is helping fathers in 10 cities beyond his own hold Fathers Eve celebrations. In addition to St. Paul, these City Dads Group in these metropolitan areas that host Fathers Eve events Saturday:
- Las Vegas
- San Francisco
- St. Louis
- Portland, Ore.
Tacoma, Wash., will also hold a Fathers Eve event.
Proceeds from these events will help benefit local charities and the national At-Home Dad Network.
City Dads Group co-founders Matt Schneider and Lance Somerfeld credited a bit of serendipity that brought the two organizations together for each others benefit.
“In June 2015, I sent an article to Lance about a ‘new thing’ happening in Minneapolis called Fathers Eve,” Schneider said. “Then we met its founder John Francis at the Dad 2.0 Summit in February and soon realized we could do a lot of positive work together: first with John helping organize the Twin Cities Dads Group and now with City Dads groups holding Fathers Eve celebrations around the United States.”
Francis agreed that common purposes brough the two groups together.
“City Dads is creating a community of dads who want to be active in their kids lives. They share a lot of the same goals that Fathers Eve has to bring dads of all ages together,” Francis said. “My focus has been to create a special day to do this and City Dads is a way to bring this to more cities. It’s really a great connection to reach more dads.”