Dad’s Day Out defines family

Javaris Green and daughters


ST. PETERSBURG — Javaris Green started out with an idea about bringing family, friends and dads from the community together to celebrate the strength, dignity, and impact of fatherhood. After word spread across the village of south St. Petersburg about what he wanted to do, spiritual support and donations followed.

“I only came out of my pocket for $200,” said Green, a school counselor at Maximo Elementary during the 2015-16 school year.  “The rest were donations and people pitching in to make this happen.”

“A great event for fathers and kids,” said Dr. Chris Warren, project coordinator for Figuring It Out for the Child.

More than 60 people showed up to Lake Vista Recreation Center to celebrate the inaugural Dad’s Day Out last Saturday, June 18. Baby boomers to millennials and all generations in between gathered to help Green commemorate the significance of Father’s Day.

Even the weather cooperated as the typical summertime afternoon showers made way for the bright sun.

Green’s mother Shawn Crawford was particularly pleased with the relationship building that took place.

“Loved the way fathers interacted with the youth,” she said.

Rod Jackson and Kendall Jordon shared the barbeque duties while DJ Paul Douglas provided the soundtrack for eating, dancing, playing tug-of-war, running three legged races and playing kick ball.

Kids of all ages could get their faces painted while the younger children enjoyed the bounce house that was donated for the event.

While families and friends sat together to eat, one thing stuck out – the presence of strong, positive and productive African-American men of all ages.  It was like a song with a great bass line.

Unlike the negativity we often read about men of color, Green’s event was a microcosm of what many men of color were doing on the same day around America to celebrate fatherhood and family.

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