The Dad Of The Month, March 2021: Chris Norton

(Photos courtesy of Chris Norton)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for March 2021: Chris Norton. Even able-bodied men recognize that fatherhood is not for the faint of heart, so it’s inspiring to see someone accept the challenge (and wildly succeed at it) while confined to a wheelchair. At 28, Chris—along with his wife, Emily—is a parent to five adoptive daughters and has cared for over a dozen foster children. His friend and colleague Jodi Philip wrote a wonderful nomination entry for Chris that is sure to blow you away:

“Chris Norton might be one of the most grateful dads you will ever meet. I work with him and have been blown away (along with the numerous people inspired by his story) at his positive attitude. At 18, Chris was paralyzed playing college football. Doctors told him he would likely never walk again. But, he believed that he would and he worked really hard in physical therapy. Years later, he walked across his college graduation stage with his fiance. Then they walked seven yards together down the aisle of their wedding. This is Chris – believing in the good – even if it happens step by step.

“That same determined, positive spirit is what led Chris into fatherhood. His wife has always been interested in foster care, but they weren’t expecting to be parents at such a young age. One day they got a call about a teenage girl they knew who needed help and a place to go immediately, and they said yes to being her foster parents. And Chris and his wife said yes again when they got a call about a sibling set of four sisters. At age 28, Chris is dad to five adopted daughters and the couple has provided foster care for a total of 18 children. When other people say, ‘Nope, I couldn’t do it.’ Chris finds a way.

“Just as he relearned to walk – over time and one step at a time – he and his wife are building their family in the same way. Chris often says that his accident helps him better relate to their kids as he understands what it is like to be in a place that you didn’t expect.

“His favorite part of the day is the time he gets to spend with his kids before and during dinner. They have a tradition of pausing all the homework, chores, and work and going outside to just be together and play. Then, they come in and crowd around the table for dinner and each shares the best part of their day. Chris says it’s simply the best to experience fatherhood with kids who are eager to give and receive love.

“Apart from being a dad, Chris is a speaker, author, and entrepreneur. He started a foundation to help others with spinal cord and neuromuscular injuries and runs a free wheelchair camp for youth and their families. His story is profiled in the new documentary, ‘7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story,’ on Apple TV and Prime Video.”

To honor Chris and his inspirational work as a husband, father, and member of his community, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Chris exemplifies the amazing power of positivity, reminding us that we all have the tenacity to get through anything life throws our way if we’re only willing to utilize it. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, February 2021: David Funk

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for February 2021: David Funk. Becoming a first-time father is difficult enough for anyone, but few new dads have been put through the wringer like David. His wife, Lindsey, wrote a beautiful nomination entry for him, illustrating how David repeatedly goes above and beyond for his growing family:

“David is simply incredible. In January 2020, we found out our unborn son would most likely not live post-birth. No one with his diagnosis has survived in Utah before. Well, our son Otto was born in March 2020 and LIVED.

“I, the mom, was under anesthesia for the birth surgery to get Otto here so David had to take care of EVERYTHING while I was asleep and sedated for the next 5 days. He had to run to the NICU right after surgery and he has been there for Otto EVERY DAY of our 200-day NICU stay. He dedicated all his time outside of working to visiting our miracle baby in the NICU.

“We just got home from the NICU in October 2020. Our son is dependent on a ventilator and a tracheotomy tube, g-tube for feeding, and oxygen support. He has a lot of care necessary to survive and David never skips a beat to help Otto. Because of the pandemic, we have had to stay home as our child has lung disease. David does such a good job taking it on himself to make sure Otto’s life at home is fun and entertaining for our miracle. David loves to cuddle with Otto and pinch his chubby cheeks.

“David knows how to do ALL of Otto’s medical care, which is impressive for any father as he has so many other things to do to support our family so I can stay home and take care of Otto during the day. David is involved in all of Otto’s physical, occupational, feeding, and speech therapy – not to mention this is our first child. David had not even changed ONE diaper before Otto.

“David was born to be the father of our son. A lot of time the mom, me, gets a lot of recognition for what I’ve done for Otto, but David never gets it. I would love to see him recognized for all he does for our little son Otto.”

To honor David as well as the tireless and selfless work of keeping little Otto happy and healthy, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. David is an awesome example of what it means to be an amazing dad right out of the gate and regardless of the circumstances. Cheers!

The Dad Of The Month, January 2021: Bryan Kutz

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for January 2021: Bryan Kutz. While already an exemplary father, Bryan has recently stepped up even further to care for his extended family after the death of his father-in-law. His wife, Megan, wrote a wonderful nomination entry for Bryan that celebrates the tireless work of her husband and celebrates her late father:

“On December 23rd, 2020, my dad died. We are still deeply in the grieving process. But losing my dad has made me see my husband in a different light. I’ve always known that my husband Bryan is an exemplary man but seeing him take care of our three kids and me during this awful time just reinforces what a selfless guy he is.

“In addition to the TLC that he’s shown me throughout this, he has also made sure my mom has everything she needs and wants. He uses his very little time off to fix her garage door, make her meals, fix her computer issues and deal with many of the logistical items that happen when someone has died. We still have a long road to healing but I see him caring for his family with such tenderness that I am encouraged and thankful that he is ours.

“He shows our kids how to love during the hard times when things are messy and sad. One day when our kids are older and have children of their own, they will have had the privilege of many years with an incredible dad to draw knowledge from when dealing with the good and bad times that will surely come with their own families. I wrote this to honor my husband, Bryan Kutz, and in memory of my dad, Neil Andersen.”

To honor Bryan and all he has done to be a foundation for his family during such a grief-filled time, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Bryan is a great example of what it means to be a leader and source of strength for the family he loves. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, December 2020: Paul LeBlanc

(Photos courtesy of Grace LeBlanc)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for December 2020: Paul LeBlanc. Despite his job being eliminated, Paul spent 2020 being a rock steady support to his wife, raising two kids, and welcoming a new baby into the family. His wife, Grace, wrote a wonderful nomination entry, gushing over how thankful their family is to have Paul in their lives:

“My husband totally deserves to be The Dad of the Month. He wins every month in our house.

“When I met Paul, he had a 4-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. One of the things that helped cement that he was ‘the one’ for me was what a great dad he is.

“For the first 6 months, we only went out on dates on weeknights so he didn’t miss time with his daughter. He talked about her constantly and when I eventually did see the two of them together it was obvious how much she adored him right back.

“Since then Paul and I have gotten married and have had two kids of our own, we’ve had some setbacks. Because I was pregnant when Covid-19 first hit, he was advised to stay home from work to reduce his risk. While he was home on FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) his job was eliminated. Since I’m a stay at home mom that left us with 3 kids and no income.

“It’s been a rough 7 months since our son was born and there have been lots of times when I didn’t know how we would survive. Paul has been a rock for the family, always reminding me that we would figure it out and I feel so grateful that my son has never known life without his dad home 24 hours a day.

“He wakes up and cooks eggs for our 2-year-old, helps our 8-year-old with remote learning, and is always doing projects around the house with free Facebook marketplace finds. He even mows the lawn with a baby on his back!

“He’s going back to work next week and I’d love to honor him as The Dad of the Month to let him know how much he means to me and our kids. He is genuinely the most hopeful and determined man I know. He has shown our kids that family is the most important thing in the world, that every problem has a solution, and that sometimes all you need after a hard day is a hug from someone you love.”

When Paul found out he was The Dad of the Month for December, he humbly reminded us what being a father is all about:

“Being a dad is one thing I’ve always wanted my entire life and having a wonderful, supportive wife and three amazing kids has brought me so much joy and fulfillment. I know [even] with all of life’s ups and downs, I will always have my family by my side and I will always do whatever it takes to support them.”

To honor Paul and all he has done despite such a brutally difficult year, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Paul is a great example of what it means to be a rock-solid foundation for a family and to face hardships head-on. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, November 2020: John Kay

(Photos courtesy of Heather Kay)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for November 2020: John Kay. Since becoming a dad, John has exhibited a tangible excitement for fatherhood and a willingness to go above and beyond, even during a worldwide pandemic. His wife, Heather, couldn’t help gushing about him in her nomination:

“A good dad is hard to come by – John is the glue that holds it all together. He’s a one-of-a-kind dad. He was born for this. He embodies what every young boy needs in a father.

“We have a 2.5-year-old son named Hudson, who, thanks to his Dada, knows how to use mustard as a binder for meats when they BBQ on the Traeger. Hudson loves to read along to the book ‘Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada’ by Jimmy Fallon thanks to John’s wonderful impressions of animals! (Hudson’s dad also does a very good impression of Grover from Sesame Street.)

“John has worked throughout the pandemic. He manages transportation services and has been essential on the front lines, ensuring the public gets the goods they need. He comes home every day to help around the house, help with dinner, or pick up anything that’s needed. He volunteers to bathe our son every night and read him goodnight stories.

“He’s also a wrestling coach for a local high school and has taught our young son how to wrestle – he’s very good at it! The day we brought Hudson home from the hospital, John put pool noodles around every single hard surface in our home to make sure our new baby was totally safe! Looking back, it’s funny because now they wrestle and play WWE all the time!

“John has taken Hudson to every sporting event (pre-covid) and has also waited in lines for VIP meet and greets so that our son can meet famous hockey and baseball players! He’s is a wonderful dad and does it all with a smile on his face. He’s an excellent role model for our son and I am forever grateful that Hudson gets to have such an awesome father like John!”

To honor John and exuberance for fatherhood despite an incredibly difficult year, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. John’s unfailing optimism, creativity, and excitement for life are exceptional attributes that we should all strive for. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, October 2020: Steve Braun

(Photos courtesy of Tori A. Emerick Braun)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for October 2020: Steve Braun. Over the years, Steve has shown that he’s not only an all-star dad who wants his kids to experience all the fun life has to offer, but that he’s ready and willing to dig deep and do the real work when life gets hard. Here’s what his friend John wrote for his nomination:

“Nobody embraces or deserves the title of dad like Steve. His kids mean everything to him and it shows, as he’s constantly teaching them something new.

“Steve is a father of 4 that never stops doing for his family. In the summer it’s every imaginable outdoor activity like sailing, camping, swimming, or as simple as teaching them how to fix things like cars or household repairs. Then in the winter, it’s running his kids all over for hockey games and practices, but not to just watch. He’s also the coach, trainer, or referee. Somehow he manages to cram snowmobile rides in there too.

“Then 2 years ago, everything changed when his youngest son was diagnosed with retinoblastoma which in simple terms is eye cancer. Steve doesn’t miss a single appointment whether it be for a checkup or an in-depth revolutionary new surgery created strictly for his son Zayne. The expense incurred and the time spent in hospitals is quite vast. Steve always looks ahead at the future and how much Zayne will be able to do instead of looking at any limitations brought on by the surgeries, or the fact that through this battle, Zayne has already lost one eye.

“No matter what Steve is doing or where he is going, he loves having his kids with him to share in every experience.”

To honor Steve and his tireless endeavors to be the best dad he can be, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Steve’s thirst for adventure, excitement for life, and steadfast dedication to his family are admirable characteristics that we should all strive for. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, September 2020: Robert Bailey

(Photos courtesy of Robert Bailey)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for September 2020: Robert Bailey. We recently featured Robert in our “Dadding While ____” series because he’s facing one of the most harrowing of circumstances—raising his 2-year-old son and being a good husband, all while living with terminal cancer.

“I know my son is probably not going to remember me. He’s kind of young,” Robert states in the interview about his son, Parker. “I’m just trying to find things to leave that tell him who I was… who I am.”

Robert and his wife, Debbie, couldn’t have kids naturally but finally got to be parents when they adopted Parker. Tragically, Robert’s health began to decline rapidly just as they were finishing the adoption process.

(Photos courtesy of Robert Bailey)

“It’s like, I get this miracle that I never thought would happen, and then a couple of months later, I find out I have inoperable cancer.”

Despite his dire prognosis, Robert continues to do what he can to leave a legacy for his little boy. In fact, he’s currently working with local Nashville musicians to record a song and writing a book about his life story, all in hopes of encompassing who he is and everything he loves about being a father to his son.

“It’s definitely not my choice to leave [my son] alone in this world without a dad … I love him. I love him with every fiber of my being. Losing this battle is going to be very difficult because of him.”

(Photos courtesy of Robert Bailey)

To honor Robert and his fearless commitment to family and fatherhood, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Robert’s dedication and celebration of life is a true inspiration—one that reminds us all to hug the ones we love a little bit tighter, whenever we can.

You will always be a part of this Dad community, Robert. Cheers.


(Robert’s GoFundMe is no longer active due to a time limit for campaigns, but funds can still be donated. His Venmo is @RBailey77 and paypal is [email protected])

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

 

The Dad Of The Month, August 2020: Mark Paris

(Photos courtesy of Emily Paris)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for August 2020: Mark Paris. Despite being faced with serious health issues, Mark has remained a dedicated dad who always puts his family before himself. He was nominated by his daughter, Emily, who couldn’t say enough good things about her papa:

“My dad is the type of dad that continues to work and build and tinker even after retirement (yes, his first retirement project was to build a deck in our backyard, of course). He always needs to be working, thinking, and creating. About a month before I was scheduled to move into my college dorm, my dad was diagnosed with diabetes. Shortly after, he learned that he had stage-four melanoma, as well. While still adjusting to a new diet to regain control over his blood sugar, he needed emergency surgery to remove all the cancerous lymph nodes under his right arm.

“It was a terrifying time for both of us–he was preparing for the worst while I was worried about leaving my dad in poor health, especially since his line of work relies on his physical capabilities. I still remember a few days before his surgery we went kayaking (an activity I grew up doing a lot with him), not knowing if it was the last time we would get to go together. We were both secretly terrified, but he never let me see the side of him that was scared.

“My dad deserves to be ‘Dad of the Month’ because being a dad is the very reason he is still here today. After his surgery, he drove a painstaking 10+ hours with a drain bag attached to his incision site to move me into my dorm. It has always been his dream for me to go to college and wouldn’t have missed it for the world. He always reminded me that no matter what happened to him, I needed to promise I would finish my degree.

“Even though my dad was going through a lot, he never failed to be available and supportive during my educational journey. Not only is he an active person, but he’s also one of those dads that falls asleep at 6 PM and wakes up at 2 PM. There were too many nights to count when I would call him at 5 AM crying about the half-finished essay that was due at 9 AM that day. He was and is ALWAYS there for me. He would get all kinds of interesting, random jobs to help support me financially through school as well, even though he was in no state to be exerting himself to the level he was. One time my grandma sent me a picture of him cutting dead branches out of the 30-foot pine tree in her backyard. What a guy, honestly.

“Long story short, it is because of my dad that I graduated from college and am now going on to pursue my PhD. He’s my biggest supporter, my rock, and my role model. There’s no one else in this world that could persist through the challenges he has faced with the same smile on his face and capacity to put others before himself. I love you, papa!”

To honor Mark and his fearless commitment to family, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Mark’s tenacity, excitement for life, and refusal to let health issues hinder him from being the best dad he can be are admirable characteristics that we should all strive for. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, July 2020: Marwin Fernandez

(Photos courtesy of Jennifer Fernandez)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for July, 2020: Marwin Fernandez. Marwin is one of the brave medical professionals on the front lines fighting against COVID-19, an all-star father to two boys, and a loving husband. His wife, Jennifer, couldn’t help but gush about him in her submission:

“My husband Marwin truly gives his all to his family and is dedicated to working as an ER nurse, showing compassion to everyone in our small-town community. He is a badass that stands and fights death on the daily. He loves what he does and that he makes a difference in people’s lives each day and support his family by doing it. He comes home after a 12 hr shift, his pedometer often registering over 20,000+ steps and reads to our two boys (Landon age 6 and Kai age 4), feeds our dog, and hugs his wife (that’s me Jenn, a local art teacher). He supports me as an artist and will often watch our kids so that I can pursue my professional teaching degrees and have time to work on creating my own art.

“He worked tirelessly during the pandemic often putting himself at risk, therefore having to socially distance himself from his own family for about 2 weeks after his exposure. It was heartbreaking for him to explain to the boys that he couldn’t give them hugs and that he could only video chat with them, but they made the best of it because it was best for everyone.

“He was also working the day of the fatal school bus accident on the highway nearest to Hackettstown Medical Center. They received a few urgent patients at his hospital, one of which—his patient—was a young student. It was questionable how her severe injuries would have affected her life long-term if she had not received his team’s (because he is supported by many) knowledge, quick thinking, and care that ultimately resulted in saving her life. Months later, he was extremely grateful to have the opportunity to meet this young girl, see her smile, and give her a hug once she was healed because that is what it is all about!

“Last year we had the opportunity to attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Marwin made sure to get out there at 4 AM in the cold just to make sure his kids got front row seats. This is a true testament to the great dad he is. He also recently taught our 4-year-old, Kai, to ride his bike without training wheels and helped Landon achieve his many cub scout badges. It would be a great honor for him to receive the DAD award because it sounds super hardcore (just like him) and being a Dad is truly the thing that he is most proud of!

“He left his home country of the Philippines to move here when he was 16 and work as an EMT, then a full time as a tech to support his family, having had his first daughter at the age of 20, all while completing nursing school. We are celebrating our 10th year of marriage this year and I was finally able to convince him to take a break from working his second job as a per diem PACU nurse at night. This way he can (maybe) get some rest and no doubt enjoy his time off on the weekends with his boys going on hikes, camping, and fishing.

“He was recently acknowledged for dedication to nursing this past November as the first Daisy award honoree at Hackettstown Medical Center for his ability to create an environment where attributes of trust, compassion, mutual respect for his colleagues and his patients.”

To honor Marwin and his tireless commitment to his family and community, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Marwin’s dedication to excellence in both the medical field and as a father is something we should all aspire for in our own lives!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, June 2020: Bryan Piatt

((Photos courtesy of Jessica Piatt))

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for June, 2020: Bryan Piatt. Bryan is a relentlessly hard worker and an all-star father and husband, even with a 4-year-old son who requires specialized medical care. His wife, Jessica, couldn’t help raving about him in her submission:

“Bryan is the most amazing dad. Our first baby was unplanned, but he was so excited to find out he was gonna be a dad. When he was born, we knew immediately something wasn’t right. Our son Nolan has gone on to be diagnosed with an incredibly rare chromosome disorder (very few in the world have it!), and in Nolan’s short 4 years, he’s had 4 surgeries, many ER trips, countless tests, procedures, and therapies. He’s significantly mentally impaired, so he relies on us for everything.

“Bryan has been there every step of the way, to every surgery, to most therapies, and is the sole reason Nolan learned to walk. He worked with him tirelessly. He was amazing with my post-partum depression, very encouraging, and helpful. Never judging. And all through this, he works third shifts in a factory, which is hard on his body.

“We had a second baby (no big health issues with this little boy, who we named Dallas), and he’s been just as involved with him. He gets very little sleep to make sure he gets to see the boys (and me!) before we leave for the day. We are so so fortunate for Bryan, and I couldn’t imagine living this life with someone else. Nolan and Dallas are so, so lucky.

To honor Bryan and his tireless commitment to his family in the face of such adversity, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Bryan’s steadfastness and refusal to let a medical condition steal their family’s joy is something we all hope we would exhibit. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, May 2020: Andy Salamone

(Photos courtesy of Pier Reiter)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for May, 2020: Andy Salamone. Andy, who lost his eyesight at an early age, is an example of a man who has beaten the odds over and over again to exemplify exceptionalism, not only in his career, but in his role as a father. His brother, Pier, bragged up-and-down about Andy in his nomination:

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“Andy is my older brother. He is totally blind after losing his sight in both eyes to the cancer Retinoblastoma at the age of 3. Andy never lets anything get in his way – he was on the high school and college (division 1) wrestling teams. He took his 1st government job in Pearl Harbor—far from family and the familiarity of Pennsylvania. After that, he settled in Washington DC and is now working for Defense Intelligence Agency.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“He and his wife also have a 9-year-old boy, Michael. Andy slid into the role of ‘dad’ without missing a beat – changing diapers, giving bottles, cooking meals, etc. As the years went on and Michael grew, Andy never let his vision slow his abilities & activities as a dad. Most recently Andy has embarked on numerous Boy Scout trips with Michael that include skill activities, hiking, and overnight camping trips.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“Andy is there for Michael in every way he needs whether it’s help with homework, someone to have a lightsaber battle with, someone to construct the LEGO kits with, or just someone with whom he can be emotionally open when needed. Andy not only demonstrates all these amazing dad qualities to his own son, but to my two young daughters and our other young nephew.

(Courtesy of Pier Reiter)

“It is also worth mentioning that he is a phenomenal cook (minus the time he lit a box of cereal & his oven mitt on fire) and can still beat me in a game of HORSE in basketball. Andy has defeated the odds and overcome discrimination as a blind man and never let anything get in his way. Yet, despite his work and extracurricular accomplishments, if you ask him what his favorite and most rewarding job is, he will say being Michael’s dad.”

To honor Andy and his unwavering dedication to killing the dad game, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Thanks for showing us what outstanding fatherhood in the face of adversity looks like, Andy!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, April 2020: Joel Stetler

(Joel Stetler)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for April 2020: Joel Stetler. For the past 3 years, Joel has been living with a rare incurable cancer, teaching 3rd grade, coaching football and baseball, and giving 110% as a father to his 3 kids. Read his nomination submitted by his partner, Amanda:

(Joel Stetler)

“Joel is a father of 3, living with a rare incurable cancer. His disease is active, and has never been in remission. He works as a public school 3rd grade teacher, coaching football and baseball for the school in his spare time. He makes his own 3 kiddos his priority at home, despite the cancer treatments that leave him extremely fatigued.

(Joel Stetler)

Joel was diagnosed with cancer when the youngest of our 3 children was only 3 months old.  His prognosis wasn’t good, with statistics giving him a survival rate of 3-5% beyond 5 years.  His immediate reaction to those statistics and any like it has always been, “I have to make it that far. I have to make it beyond ‘that.’ That number. I have to make it to graduations, and weddings, and everything my kids need me to see.”

(Joel Stetler)

What makes Joel such an amazing dad is that he is PRESENT. He makes the most of every second with his kids, because every second is one he was not guaranteed. Maybe it’s spent jumping on the trampoline with them (their absolute favorite dad activity) despite feeling ill because of cancer meds.  Or it’s spent going on a run with his daughter so that she is in the best shape for cross country she can be, despite the fatigue and exhaustion from chemo.  Over the last four years his kids have grown up seeing their father be brave despite facing something scary.  At times I have told him he should rest or relax more, but his answer has always been, ‘I want the kids to know their dad didn’t waste the time that he had.  I want to make sure they always remember that they were the most important priority for me.’

(Joel Stetler)

This dad is the most amazing example to his kids on how to have a positive outlook on life, even amidst the most dire circumstances. He’s always smiling and never lets his disease steal the happiness he gets from serving his community and living his best life with his family.”

(Joel Stetler)

To honor Joel’s inner and outer strength and show appreciation for all he gives to his family and everyone in his life, we are sending $500 and special edition dad gear. With his bravery and love of life, Joel sets an example not just for his kids but everyone who has the privilege of hearing his story. We salute you!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.

The Dad Of The Month, March 2020: Matt Rispoli

(Matt Rispoli)

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for March, 2020: Matt Rispoli. Matt serves his community as a police officer, his kids as an attentive, involved father, and recently fought a wolf who attacked his family while camping. Seriously. Matt is a real deal hero. His wife Elisa gushed about Matt in her nomination:

“Well, first off, The Dad actually featured my amazing husband, Matt, a few months ago because he is such an amazing dad (and badass). In August, our family was attacked by a Wolf while we were sleeping in our tent while camping on a family vacation in Banff, Canada. Matt put himself between the wolf and myself and our two young sons, fighting off the wolf despite suffering repeated bites. The attack lasted about 5 full minutes and while I screamed (bloody murder) for help, he continuously fought and pinned the wolf that was trying so desperately to have Matt for his dinner.

In addition to solidifying his position as our forever hero, Matt is the most hands on dad that I’ve ever seen. He takes our boys snowboarding, hikes the High Peaks mountain range in New York, and builds LEGO sets for hours on end.

Matt doesn’t just protect and inspire our family. He’s an amazing police officer that helps his community every day, frequently visiting elementary schools to have lunch with the kids.

He is so patient and loving to us all, and even though he was the one with the physical injuries from our traumatic experience, he’s been our family’s rock as we all healed and continue to heal from what happened to us. He is the GOAT in our opinion and deserves to be Dad of the damn year!”

To honor Matt’s utter badassery and loving commitment to his family and community, we’re giving him $500 and some special edition dad gear. Matt’s courage and ferocity is what we all aspire to. We salute you!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.