The Columbia County News Times , Queensborough National Bank and Trust Co. and Cudos!, 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.
Grady Callison (this year's winner),
nominated by Nicole Callison, 18,
I would like to nominate my father, Grady Callison, better known as "Bubba." He works for Fleetcare Commercial Trucks in Augusta. I am nominating my dad because he is a very hard worker, not only in the work field, but as a dad and papa. He works very hard to make sure we have a loving home and successful life.
He is a very loving dad. He always takes the time to let his family know how much they mean to him. He always puts his wants to the side to provide for his family. People who know him will tell you how kind and thoughtful he is. He cares for people and is always willing to help no matter what their need may be. He is very strong in his beliefs and puts God first in his life.
I have great respect for my dad. He has always taught us to think about others and to be kind. He has taught us to think about things we do in our lives before making rash decisions. He is very encouraging and has taught us to have respect for others. I know that my dad would lay down his life for me and my family if need be.
In 2004, we lost my brother in a car accident. I just knew my dad would lose his mind as any parent would, but he put his trust in the Lord to help us get through this. He has taken this sad experience and has witnessed to others who have been faced with this same sort of tragedy. Through this time of bereavement, my dad truly showed me that we do have so many things to be thankful for. He has taken this experience and has grown tremendously in his beliefs.
He is so smart and can fix anything. Whether it is a big truck, my car or my broken heart, he is there to stand by me and support me. He has supported me through the years of being a clogger. He has gone to all of my competitions and has supported our team by cheering or by carrying props on and off stage. He loves children and they love him. He is gentle and is funny at times.
My dad is truly my sweetheart and my hero. I love him more than life itself. I am very, very proud to say that Grady "Bubba" Callison is my dad.
Hardish Tuli, nominated by
Krishan Tuli, 9, Evans
My dad should be father of the year because he is a great dad. He loves spending time with his children. He plays with us, helps us with our school work and always jokes around with us. I love my father so much. Everyone loves my dad. He got in a car wreck and was hurt bad, and he still took care of us when he could. As soon as he could get up and get around the house in the wheel chair, he would do things for us. When I get hurt he always takes care of me. When my elbow started bleeding from flipping off the skate board, he cleaned it up and made it stop bleeding. He cares for everyone. That is why I think my dad should be father of the year.
Hardish Tuli, nominated
by Alisha Tuli, 13, Evans
I think my dad, Hardish Tuli, should be father of the year. For one, he is kind and loving to his family and others. Another is he tries to help out around the house. For example, when we come home from church on Sundays, he always has food made for us. Because of his car accident, he cannot do everything, but he tries his best to do what he can. When I bring math assignments, specially the challenging ones, he not only helps me out, he also takes it to work with him to ask/challenge his co-workers. I love my dad and I am so thankful for him. I wouldn't trade him for any other dad.
Joe Maddox, nominated by Joey Maddox, 14, Martinez
I, Joey Maddox, would like to nominate my father in this contest, because I believe my father is not like any ordinary father. He supports his children, guides them in good directions for life and shows his two sons how to enjoy life. My dad is one-of-a-kind. He is very special to me and the rest of my family, and not one person can take that away from him. You will see what I experience, what my father struggles with, what he enjoys, why he cares, and why I love my father.
Joe Maddox is a kind, strong and a very loving father to his two sons (Joey and Michael Maddox). He cares about both of them and wants the best for them. His wife, Lynn Maddox, is a very loving and hardworking mother who loves and cares about both her children and husband. Even though there are times when his children are really angry at him for not letting them do what they want to do, that anger does not last very long because it is a way that our dad punishes us for what we did wrong, so we will not do what we did again in the future. My dad enjoys spending time with my brother and me, and we enjoy it too. I don't think that I could grow up without a dad. That is why I am glad I have my dad.
My dad has been battling lung cancer for about two or three years now. At first, everything was going great until he started becoming weaker every day. That is when he had to retire from his job and stay at home. As time went by, he slowly gained strength, but not very much. He has had lots of surgeries, CT scans and medical procedures.
This past year, the doctor told my mom that they believed that my dad's time to "leave" us was September 2007. We were very sad. When September came and went, we knew that he truly was a miracle to us and the rest of the family. As time went by, things really started to change. He had gotten a damaged heart from the chemo. He can't drive anywhere, so now it's just my mom driving. Bills kept piling up, and with only one person in a family working, it is really big stuff and lots of hard work.
I help my dad every day and try to do as much for both my parents, but especially my dad. I help him walk places and help him with his oxygen. My dad loves both me and my brother, and we love him, too. It's hard for my dad to sleep at night, because he has no idea if he is going to wake up tomorrow or not, and that is one thing we all struggle with, but we try to put all this aside and enjoy the time that we have with our great father, friend and husband (to my mom).
My father is a very special father, a miracle from God, and an honest and trusting friend.
Robert Feeley, nominated by Sean Feeley, 16, Evans
My father is no ordinary man. He works nonstop, takes care of his family, his elderly parents, and always finds time to attend my Lacrosse games and listen to my concerns.
Dad is also very compassionate and giving. He spends whatever free time he has volunteering at our church and giving of himself.
Recently, when we were at a gas station, this gentleman from Tennessee told him he needed money for gas so he could get his family home. Dad did not ask questions. He simply paid for this stranger's gasoline. Such selflessness deserves to be recognized and rewarded.
Thomas W. Ferrell, nominated by Jennifer Ferrell, 15, Martinez
I think my father, Thomas Ferrell, should be father of the year because he is an amazing dad. This past year, my father had prostate cancer. He had to undergo surgery a week and a half after my grandmother, my mother's mother, passed away at the same hospital. My father didn't let his cancer stop him. He is very courageous. He makes life seem easy, and he makes life fun.
When my Dad sets his mind to do something, he goes straight for it. In his book, life is short, live it the best way you know how. My father is the kind of man people can depend on. My father makes friends everywhere we go. My dad is also one of my best friends. I can go to him about anything. He gives great advice; whether I take it or not is a different story.
My father loves his life, and he would not change it for anything. My father learns from his mistakes, and he teaches me what he learned from them. My father is silly at times but can be serious at other times. We have disagreements a lot, but my mother says that is just because we are so much alike.
My father is also the strongest man I know. When I'm down and/or not feeling good, he sits with me until I feel better. He always puts me first. He knows what makes me happy, and he knows what I like and what I don't like. My father should be the one who wins this contest. I believe he has earned it.
Tony Rhoden, nominated by Madison Rhoden, 8, Martinez
My dad is the greatest dad in the world. He loves me more than words can say. He sleeps with me when I am scared. He helps me do my homework. He swims with me and helps me practice my back handspring. He lets me read to him, and he buys me good books. When I accomplish something, he is proud of me. He takes me places and cheers me up when I am sad. He is a great dad. He is always understanding. My dad helps my family with stuff they might need help with. I love my dad more than words can say.
David Grimm, nominated by Anna Grimm, 13, Martinez
My dad is awesome because he is a one of a kind. He acts like a kid by playing laser tag with my friends and me at the end-of-the-year party. My dad has taught me to play sports, encourages me to do my best in school and to read diligently. He teaches me to become a better person and brightens up my day. He shows me his love of God through his actions and teaches me to do the same. My dad makes me feel like a princess and loves me very much.
Hank Thompson, nominated by
Ansley Thompson, 17,
My Father, Hank Thompson, should be Columbia County's father of the year because he is a very compassionate person who loves others and his family very much (even though we are all women). Our family consists of my mother, Lawana Thompson, and three daughters -- me, Ansley Thompson, and my two sisters, Courtney and Taylor Thompson.
He loves to have family dinners where he says grace and we all sit around the table and talk about what is going on in our lives. He has been a great role model for my siblings and me and loves to act just like a kid. He tries his best to attend every activity we're involved in ,which is hard because we go in so many directions, and is very supportive in everything we choose to participate in.
Along with taking care of his family, he used to travel every other weekend to take care of his mother in Cartersville, Ga., and loves to go on mission trips. My grandmother, Hazel Thompson, recently passed away the day after Mother's Day. Before her passing, my dad would drive up every other weekend to relieve his brother (who she lived with) and take care of her. As of June 2, he has been on a mission trip to Peru with Lewis Memorial United Methodist Church to spread God's love to all of Peru's people. He will be doing construction projects and holding vacation Bible school with the children. This is his second time going, and he really loves it.
All in all, my dad is wonderful.
Thomas Barnard, nominated by Lauren Barnard, 11, Grovetown
My daddy should be father of the year is because he's a very special man. My daddy is always there for me when I need him. I will always remember the times when we went fishing, hunting and golfing.
He's always cheering me on at my softball games. I will always remember the good advice he gives to me, too. My daddy is always encouraging me to do my best in everything. My daddy means a lot to me and he's the "apple of my eye." I am glad God gave him to me. These are the reasons why my daddy should be the father of the year.
Christopher Allen, nominated by
McKenzie Allen, 10, Evans
My dad, he is my father of the year.
My dad is the best dad in the whole world. He is always there for my brother and me. He guides us to do good in school and to always do our best at everything. My dad has to work a lot, but he always makes time to spend with us. He takes us swimming and we ride dirt bikes together. He practices baseball with my little brother and is always at his games. He always came to my gymnastics meets and now he loves to watch me in cheerleading. My dad is my father of the year because I know he loves us, always listens, guides us, and takes good care of us and he will always be No. 1 to me and my brother.
Patrick Williams, nominated by Erica Williams, 9, Evans
I think my dad, Patrick Williams, is father of the year because he's supportive and he keeps our house running. I think that he is supportive because with two busy teenagers, he does a great job of getting us to all of our practices and lessons and is present at all of our concerts, games, competitions and shows.
I also think that he's Father of the Year because he keeps our house running even when he's not home. Between working rotating shifts and overtime, he always has done something that makes our lives easier or just something nice.
Patrick Williams, nominated by Sean Williams, 15, Evans
My dad deserves the father of the century award. Because this is the father of the year award, I guess I can settle. The main reason I think he deserves this award is because he does everything in his power to provide for his family. He works very hard hours and any overtime he can. Even after all this work, he still comes home and talks to us for a while. He also has a back problem, yet he does this hard work. This is why he deserves this award.
Jay Jefferies, nominated by Jaida Jenkins, 7, Martinez
I have the best dad. He knows Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Jesus. He knows how to make me laugh and make people smile. We share him with his jobs, but he loves us. He takes us to Red Robin and lets me order off of his menu, not the kids'. He watches the Disney Channel with me and comes to my school. He was my Black History project because I love him. He has his own song like Raven and Hannah Montana.
A poem for Dad:
Roses are red
My dad is Jay
We laugh together
Bill Rogers, nominated by Mary Catherine Rogers, 11, Martinez
Have you ever heard of a great father? I have -- mine! My dad just doesn't say, "I love you" or buy you stuff. He exceeds that. If you're wondering why my dad is the best, well, instead of having a cool, new car, he has an old one because we're saving up for Disney. And he goes to the pool so he can be with us, playing Monkey in the Middle. My father has a herniated disc in his neck, which limits him, but he still plays with us. What dad would do those things and more? Mine would.
Bryan Frank Tuschen, nominated by Matthew Tuschen, 13, Martinez
Not only is our dad the youth leader at our church, but he is also a huge supporter of our after-school activities. He is the absolute best father in the whole entire world. Our dad continually supports and pushes us to strive forward to anything we put our minds to. Even our friends see him as a good father figure and come to him for advice. He is always on the move and is very involved at our church and helps keep our faith alive. He is the best dad in the world, and we love him.
Rob Forbes, nominated by Stephanie Forbes, 16, Evans
My daddy deserves to be Columbia County's father of the year because he's more than just a dad to me, he's my best friend. He always knows exactly what to say to lift me up from a rough day and is continuously raising my confidence and making me laugh. I hope to have half the integrity and selflessness that he has and to make him the proudest daddy ever. He's a great father and deserves total admiration. I've been so blessed with an incredible amazing, inspiring, loving and caring father. I couldn't ask for a better dad.
Other nominations (non-qualifying)
Greg E. Childs, nominated by Katy Childs, 23,
Why do I think my father should be father of the year?
First of all, he is my daddy, so he's the best. He is very loving and always trying to help. My brother and I always hang out with my daddy because he is fun to be around. Never a dull moment!
Whether it's fishing, hunting or watching movies, we have a good time. He also is a granddaddy to three beautiful granddaughters, and even though he may be tired from going to work at 4 a.m. he still makes time to play with them and build neat things for them. My daddy is the best because he is my friend and backbone. He is a positive role-model for the whole family.
Paul Lands, Nominated by Beverly Lands (mother), Grovetown
I was upset to see that the essay for the father of the year contest was limited to a certain age. I figured this was because it was an essay, but this did not allow me to nominate my son, Paul Lands, who should have been a candidate for this award.
Paul is 22 years old, has a beautiful wife of two years, is buying his home, has a "miracle baby," Paul "Steven" Lands Jr., and works three jobs to support his family. Steven turned 1 on April 30. He was born prematurely, weighing in at 1 pound, 9 ounces, and was not expected to live, but is truly a miracle.
If you could see the way Steven lights up when he sees his daddy, it is remarkable. My son sometimes works all three jobs on the same day, but he still finds time to spend with his son. His son is just too young to nominate him, so I just want the world to know how special Paul is to me as a parent and to his family. You don't see or hear of too many 22-year-olds working this hard at this age. My hat is off to my son. We love you, and to us you are the father of the year.
Giri Venkatraman, nominated by Meera Venkatraman, Evans
My dad made my lunch for me every day from kindergarten until the day I graduated high school. These weren't just ordinary lunches. Every day he would leave a note inside my lunch bag along with a sandwich, chips and a Capri Sun.
These notes included a phrase, or a well-thought-out quote, related in some way to my life. One of his quotes was: "You give it, whatever you do, 100 percent. Don't worry about the grade you get. If you know for sure you gave it 100 percent, for me you got an A, irrespective of what anyone else says."
I saved every quote he ever wrote me, and as I re-read them, every one of those simple words mean the world to me. This is just one example of how much inspiration and support my dad gave me growing up. My dad told me I can do anything if I put my mind to it, which is advice that has shaped the person who I have become today.
My dad is the epitome of hard work, determination and success. In his early 20s, he left his family, friends and his home in India to further his education in the United States. He worked as many as three jobs while in graduate school in order to support himself.
Even though he has a master's degree in chemical engineering, he does what he desires and what he loves to do, which is working with people as a Realtor. He started his real estate career 10 years ago, and with his continuous determination, he is now a vice-president at Meybohm Realtors. I admire my dad's sense of purpose and ambition, which are important traits I strive to inherit.
I've always been a "daddy's girl." My dad and I have a special bond which I will always cherish. He is one of a kind. On my 16th birthday, my dad went above and beyond when he surprised me with a VW Beetle. At Greenbrier High School, there is a hill where everyone puts birthday signs. Not only did my dad put a sign on the hill, he drove my car on top of the hill and parked it in front of a sign that read, "Happy Sweet 16 Birthday Meera." All of the effort my dad put into surprising me made that without a doubt one of the best moments of my life.
As a journalism student at Georgia State University, it is hard to live away from my family. Regardless of where I live, my mom and dad are my biggest support. My parents have been married for 28 years, and together they have created a household in which we are all so close. Living with three women --- my mom, my sister and me --- my dad is determined to do anything for his girls, whether it was braiding my hair when I was little or driving me to Washington, D.C., to interview for a potential internship with USA Today . My parents have encouraged and motivated my sister and me to work hard to achieve our goals.
With a wonderful personality and a heart of gold, my dad is a genuine role model for me. He has worked hard for his whole life to be where he is today. I could never thank him enough for everything he has done for us. He is the most genuine, caring person I know and would go out of his way to help anyone. I cannot express how much I am truly appreciative and grateful to have this wonderful man in my life.
My dad taught me many lessons in life, which has enabled me to become the person I am today. In one of his quotes he wrote, "Life is all about the choices that you make, not the chances you take." My dad has inspired me to become a journalist and to pursue my goals and dreams. He is not only my dad, he is my inspiration, my friend and my hero.
I love you, Daddy. Happy Father's Day.
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