The Columbia County News-Times and First National Bank &Trust Co., sponsors of the Columbia County Father of the Year contest, invited readers to tell us why their fathers should be the father of the year. The following are among the essays we received:
The winning essay
By Rachael Foss, age 18, Martinez
I realize my dad is a great person spending time each week to (take) care of his father's worsening Alzheimer's, yet I would do the same for my dad. Let me tell you why. "Focus on what you want - Dad" is written on my mirror. At the time he wrote it, our family was in a state of disbelief because I had just been diagnosed with major depression. The strength and unconditional love it took for my father to not only endure the situation, but to open my eyes to the bigger picture - my future - means the world to me. The second set of words of wisdom was called "Let Your Life Speak," which included four points to live by. Around the same time, my father made me laugh when I read "Happy Graduation! X#X#," which he thought meant hugs and kisses. Above all, my dad is always perceived as a mixture of kindness, determination and humor.
Regan and Franklin Askin say their dad, Frank Askin, is totally dedicated to being a wonderful dad.
By Regan Askin, age 11, Martinez
Our father, Frank Askin, deserves to be father of the year! His hugs are never-ending and they get better and longer every time. He is totally dedicated to being a great and wonderful dad. We always enjoy going to Beaufort (S.C.) together to fish and crab. This really relaxes us and our Dad. Our father-daughter dances are so special and mean so much to me and my dad.
By Franklin Askin, age 8, Martinez
Our dad is the greatest! We love to play golf together and he loves to coach my football team. We are so proud to call him "Dad." We love you Dad!
Ashleigh Lee and her father, Gary C. Lee, enjoy a party. Ashleigh likes to give her father a good hug when he comes home from work.
By Ashleigh Lee, age 13
About six or seven years ago a man by the name of Gary C. Lee adopted me. I had no idea where my real dad was, but at that moment I didn't care. When we came home I felt so good, knowing that there was a man there that actually called me his, a man that I could call dad. This year I would like for that wonderful man to win the title he deserves - Father of the Year.
Most dads have jobs, but some stay home. My dad is the working kind. He works at the Columbia County Recreation Department. Every morning, refreshed and ready to go, he leaves for work, and every afternoon, hot, sweaty, tired, but loves a good hug from the whole family, and maybe a little smooch from our mom, that's what usually gives him more energy to finish the day. My two sisters and brother are full of energy all day so it's a good thing that he has a playful spot. If I could only use four words to describe my dad, they would be Father of the Year!
Lonnie Hergott was nominated by his daughter Naomi, who says her father is silly, plays games, dances and gives lots of hugs.
By Naomi Hergott, age 11, Martinez
My dad, Lonnie Hergott, will do almost anything for our family. He is silly, chases us, plays games, dances and gives lots of hugs. Every school morning my dad gets up early and makes me lunch with a note saying he loves me. I feel reassured knowing he is there for me. I have four younger siblings and he makes us all feel special. My dad plays sports with us every Sunday afternoon in the backyard. He always tells us that we can do anything if we try. I am blessed to have a dad that loves and teaches me so much.
By Delaney Remsen, age 11, Evans
Bill Remsen's daughter wrote that his kindness makes him a very good paramedic.
My dad, Bill Remsen, is one of the nicest people I've ever met. I've never heard him raise his voice to my mom, and he cooks when my mom is sick. He is very helpful around the house. He is a Christian and his kindness makes him a very good paramedic. When he brings my mom flowers for no reason he always brings me some, too. He is very understanding and has a great sense of humor.
These are the reasons I think he should be Father of the Year.
By Christina Suppa, age 10, Evans
I'll tell you why my dad should be named Father of the Year. My dad, Patrick Suppa, helps me with my homework. He takes me to swimming and soccer practice. He plays with me, and taught me how to spiral a football. He pays for all my sports. He works overtime to pay for our bills, gives us special things, but none for himself.
Patrick Suppa's daughter Christina says he works overtime to pay the bills and gives the family special things.
He paid for my sister's band trips, and her graduation items. He buys my mom jewelry. Most of all, he deserves this because he takes care of us when we need him, he always puts himself last, and he loves us with all of his heart. That's why I love him.
By Emily Smail, Martinez
I think my dad, Tim Smail, should be Father of the Year because he always coaches my basketball team. He helps me with any mistakes I make. He is very nice to me and my brothers. My dad likes to play things with me and my nine year old brother. My dad is kind to my friends, and always allows them to play with me. He takes me to my sports and always watches my games or competitions. I love my dad and he loves me. Those are some reasons why my dad should be Father of the Year.
Rex Eckler was nominated by his daughter Maddie because he takes care of her and her brother when her mother works at night.
By Maddie Eckler, age 9, Evans
I think my dad should be named Columbia County's Father of the Year for many reasons. My mom works at night and dad takes care of my brother and I. He makes sure we get to bed and always tells us a bedtime story. When I have trouble with something I talk to my dad and he makes me feel better. My dad makes sure I get to gymnastics and dance class. On Friday nights we go to Borders and sometimes the movies. My dad always takes time to play games with me. He is the best!!!
By Morgan Ivey, Evans
Mark Ivey was nominated by Morgan Ivey and her brother and sister because he gets up in the middle of the night to comfort them.
I think that my dad, Mark Ivey, should be the Father of the Year because he is such a great dad. He will play with us a lot. He went the extra mile to build us a tree house. He also has the best job in the world. He is a builder. I love my dad so much. He is the best dad in the world. My dad is also very caring. He gets up in the middle of the night to comfort or help us. This is why I think that my dad should be Father of the Year.
By Krista Brantley, Martinez
Todd Brantley, who raises money to find a cure for arthritis, is the father of Krista Brantley.
I nominate my daddy because he does so much for our community. He got our neighbors on three roads streetlights installed within two weeks, when they had tried for 10 years. Then he got a petition for speed bumps and within weeks they were installed. He was concerned about the kids in the streets. My daddy and Rebecca Hicks from Columbia County formed an Arthritis Walk at Patriots Park to raise donations to find a cure for children with Arthritis, and they raised $8,000 and I was the honoree. That made me very proud of my daddy. I think he deserves to be recognized for his efforts!
By Brian Jordan, age 13, Harlem
Brian Jordan, 13, says his father, Jim Jordan, helps those in need.
I think my dad, Jim Jordan, should be father of the year because he is a loving, caring father. He's not a policeman or a firefighter that saves lives but if someone needed help he would be the first person there. When he has seen a homeless person on the street he has given them money and clothes. All the great things he does for me and others adds up to one great dad. He's my buddy and best friend. He's not a superhero but he will always be my hero and Father of the Year to me.
By Ashley Covington and Mallory Covington, Evans
Ashley and Mallory Covington get a hug from their father, Charles Covington. The girls wrote that their dad always goes to their sporting events, even changing his entire work schedule to be there.
Our dad, Charles Covington, is the absolute best! He is always going out of his way to help us or get us things we need. He has taught me how to play tennis and how to waterski (even when he didn't know how). He has taught my sister how to play basketball and softball. Every chance he got he would always come to our sporting events. He even once changed his entire work schedule to make it to all our games. He will even take off work to stay home with us while we were sick. He is the best!
By Katherine Madison Williams, age 8, Evans
Katherine Madison Williams loves her dad, Bernie Jones. She says he can accomplish anything he wants and he is a hard worker.
I think my dad, Bernie Jones, should be named Father of the Year because he's the most honored person in his work, he gives me anything I want, he's the best dad ever, he's able to accomplish anything he wants, he's a hard worker, he'll do anything my brothers, sister and I want, he let's me do whatever I want, I love him!
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