Father's Day Celebration 2015 (1)   Father's Day Celebration 2015 (2)

FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 19, 2016) – In partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County and Lee County Black History Society, Inc., the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers will host its Sixth Annual Father’s Day Celebration, an initiative created to strengthen families and communities by supporting dads, on Saturday, June 18 from noon to 4 p.m. at Roberto Clemente Park, located at 3265 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Fort Myers.

This year’s Father’s Day Celebration will be filled with a variety of fun and entertainment for the entire family to enjoy, including bounce houses, kids games, a basketball clinic, music, door prizes, food and drinks, stage performances, raffles, a Juneteenth exhibit and more. Event attendees will also have an opportunity to receive free information from community businesses in the areas of wealth, health, education, job training, employment, housing, corporate and government services, and more.

The HACFM will be combining its Father’s Day festivities with the Lee County Black History Society’s ‘Juneteenth’ celebrations.

As part of President Obama’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative, the HACFM’s annual Father’s Day event is a nationwide day of events encouraged by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative partners with the Administration for Children and Families, White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, fathers, mothers, family-serving organizations and other leaders from across the country who wish to be positive role models and mentors for the children in their lives and communities.

“It is the goal of the HACFM to encourage all fathers, especially absent fathers, to become a strong and vital part of their children’s lives,” said Marcus D. Goodson, executive director of the HACFM. “We hope to inspire and encourage our fathers to be a positive role model for their children by providing an atmosphere of love, support and entertainment during the Father’s Day weekend and for the rest of their lives. It is our belief that with a strong family unit in place, children will thrive and become an instrumental part of the communities in which they live.”

According to U.S. Census data, 24 million American children live in a home without a father. National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), an organization created in 1994 to raise the awareness of the importance of fathers, states that children in homes without a father are five times more likely to be poor and more likely to drop out of school or be incarcerated. This is why the involvement of fathers in the lives of their children is crucial. The focus on Father’s Day is meant to be a starting point – either a celebration of existing relationships or a reason to form first connections.

Federal partners of this year’s Father’s Day event include the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice.

According to HUD, since 2011, the initiative has experienced tremendous growth with 1,281 Father’s Day events having been held in Public Housing Agencies (PHA) and in HUD assisted housing communities across the country. More than 22,000 fathers, children, mothers and partnering organizations participated in the annual events. In June 2014, 446 agencies held events, compared to 209 events in 2011. To date, 263 HUD assisted housing organizations have registered to host activities.

Sponsorships up to $5,000 for the Sixth Annual Father’s Day Celebration are still available. To become an event sponsor or to provide free information on social and economic resources and services, contact Lori Rosado at 239-332-3825.

The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers serves as a catalyst for increasing access to safe, stable and sustainable housing and to help develop, preserve and revitalize communities through affordable rental housing. The agency is dedicated to empowering families with the means to become as self-sufficient as possible through its Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) and HOPE VI Community Supportive Services (CSS) programs, encouraging and facilitating movement toward financial independence beyond the need for HACFM services. The HACFM also aims to instill pride and a desire for an enhanced quality of life for families and serves the greater Fort Myers community in a manner that demonstrates professional courtesy, respect and caring, while recognizing the needs and limitations of the mentally and physically disabled, aged and infirmed.

For more information, call 239-344-3220 or visit www.hacfm.org.