DeMargo Lewis strives to make sure his young family of six always feels special.
"He loves us, and we love him," Kennedy Lewis, 6, wrote on her nominating essay for The Columbia County News-Times' Father of the Year contest. "My Mama says he is a blessing to our family."
That's one of the many reasons Lewis, of Martinez, was named Columbia County Father of the Year for 2010.
Lewis, an assistant manager at Bank of America in Augusta, is the father of four young children. In addition to Kennedy, he and wife, Monica, are parents to Shelby, 4, and 3-year-old twins McKinley and DeMargo Jr.
The couple, who married about nine years ago, weren't expecting the addition of twins, which they called a blessed surprise. After the births, Lewis took eight weeks of paternity leave to help his wife with their newly expanded family.
"In our marriage, there are no gender-specific roles," said Monica, noting that Lewis changed diapers and helps out by giving the kids' baths and cleaning the house. "Whatever needs to be done, he just jumps in there."
The nod for Father of the Year came as a complete surprise to Lewis, who was working in the yard when he heard the good news.
"I was very excited," he said. "There's nothing better than being acknowledged by your child."
As a family, Lewis said they enjoy taking trips to area ice cream parlors for a sweet treat. They also like playing outside in the yard and at parks.
Kennedy, who wrote that her father keeps her laughing, also mentioned that Lewis loves God and teaches her about the Bible.
"On my birthday, he always tells me about the day I was born," wrote the rising first-grader at Bel Air Elementary School. "He makes us all feel special."
It's important, Lewis said, to set good examples for his children and give them a plethora of life experiences.
"They're all at an age where they're impressionable," he said. "Our focus is our family. They come first."
The Lewis family planned to visit Savannah this weekend to celebrate the children's accomplishments throughout the school year.
In addition to helping her with homework and school projects, Kennedy also enjoys when her father cooks chicken and grills hamburgers.
"My daddy is the best cook," Kennedy wrote. "I love when he lets me help him in the kitchen."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.