Father's Day may only come around once a year, but for one organization, every day is Father's Day.
Community Fathers Inc. is on a mission to raise awareness and appreciation for the contributions fathers make to their children and families. Their second annual "I Am Father Festival" in Schenectady not only celebrated fathers, but also promoted love, bonding and unity within families.
For father-son duo Cier and Eric Faircloth, the festival was just another Saturday.
“Every day I'm a father,” Eric said. “Every day is Father's Day. This should be for everybody."
The festival brought together families from all walks of life, offering a day filled with fun, entertainment and meaningful experiences.
"Going from the rejected stone to the cornerstone,” Walter Simpkins, the executive director of Community Fathers Inc., said of this year's festival theme.
Simpkins explained that many fathers have been labeled as deadbeats or absentees, and the organization aims to show them that they are not. Community Fathers envisions a society where men recognize their importance as caregivers in their communities and offer self-help opportunities and supportive services to fathers, families and community members.
Addressing concerning statistics, such as the fact that nearly 80 percent of single-parent families with children under 18 are led by single mothers, Community Fathers Inc. aims to empower fathers and address societal misconceptions.
Attendee Blaney Collins emphasized the importance of fathers as providers, leaders and guiders.
"It means to celebrate that you helped create life,” Collins said. “It's a celebration of life, and you're the father."
The festival also hosted panel discussions where fathers could share their insights and experiences with the community and their families.
You can learn more about Community Fathers Incorporated and their future events by visiting their website at communityfathersinc.org.