Event kicks off with inaugural Bike Run

FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 23, 2017) – In partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County and Lee County Black History Society, Inc., First Assembly Cornerstone and the City of Fort Myers, the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers will host its Seventh Annual Father’s Day Celebration, an initiative created to strengthen families and communities by supporting dads, on Saturday, June 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 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 kick off with a new added event, a Father/Son and Daughter Bike Run, to start at the HACFM main administrative parking lot at 8:30 a.m. Fathers and their kids are encouraged to bring their bikes and helmets. The bike run will be police escorted by the Fort Myers Police Department and lead down Michigan Avenue, go through East Point Place and end at Clemente Park where the celebration will continue with more family fun and entertainment.

The annual celebration in the park will include bounce houses, kids games, music, stage performances, door prizes, a basketball tournament, food and drinks, 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 former 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.

Sponsorships up to $5,000 for the Seventh 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.