Father’s Day will be marked in Los Angeles County today by two events honoring fathers while today’s Los Angeles Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium will include efforts to increase awareness of prostate cancer and raising funds to fight the disease.
The Mablean Ephriam Foundation will conduct its 13th annual Honoring Unsung Fathers Awards and Scholarship Brunch at The Westin Long Beach.
The awards are intended to celebrate fathers and make Father’s Day as special as Mother’s Day and encourage and promote positive fatherhood by spotlighting fathers who accept their role and responsibility and do it well.
The awards honor fathers in five categories:
— “Solo Warrior,” the father who never married the child’s mother and is the primary custodial parent;
— “Love Cares,” the married father living in the home;
— “Fatherhood Forever,” billed as “the divorced father who divorced the mother, not the children”;
— “The Village Dad,” the non-biological father who stepped into the shoes of the father; and
— “The Living Legacy,” an elderly father who serves as the role model for other fathers.
Ephraim said the awards were inspired by her 1999-2006 stint on the syndicated courtroom series “Divorce Court,” hearing actual cases involving feuding parents.
The winners are nominated by their children, wives, ex-wives, parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, co-workers and others who know and admire their great qualities. Nominees are primarily from Los Angeles County.
College scholarships will also be presented to students who graduated from high school this year and adults ages 25 to 40 who delayed their college educations for personal or financial reasons.
The inaugural Citywide Salute to Black Fathers will be held at Dulan’s on Crenshaw in South Los Angeles. The event honors “local African-American fathers who have exemplified everyday greatness by living and setting a standard of excellence in their families and communities,” according to founder Lewis E. Logan II.
The salute “was born from our edict of celebrating the vitality and legacy of black fathers with a time of honoring, healing, helping and hoping,” said Logan, who hopes to make it an annual event.
The award to be presented include:
— The Amiri Baraka Award for social action;
— The Merv Dymally Award to the father who illustrated the most contribution to public service;
— The In My Father’s Footsteps Award for fathers who child or children followed their career path;
— The Father On The Frontline Award to the father who works to promote peace through proactive interventions;
— The Living Legend Award for the eldest father present;
— The Songs of My Father Award for the father who is artistically inclined;
— The Father Figure Award for a man who is not the biological father but has acted as a father nevertheless; and
— The Greatest Father To Ever Live to father who has died, but is long remembered.
All players, managers, coaches, trainers, umpires and groundskeepers at today’s Dodgers-San Francisco Giants game and throughout Major League Baseball will wear blue ribbon uniform decals to promote prostate cancer awareness. The ribbon will also appear on the bases. Dugout lineup cards will be light blue.
Today’s games mark the conclusion of the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s 20th annual Home Run Challenge where fans can make a monetary pledge for each home run hit during all Major League Baseball games from Monday through today. Pledges can be made at homerunchallenge.org.
In his Father’s Day proclamation, President Barack Obama wrote “if we want all our nation’s daughters and sons to have a fair shot at success in life — no matter who they are or where they are from — we need more fathers to step up and do the hard work of parenting.”
Obama also called on devoted and compassionate men to serve as mentors, tutors, big brothers and foster parents to children “who do not have responsible adults in their lives” and suggested visiting WhiteHouse.gov/MyBrothersKeeper or Fatherhood.gov for more information.
Father’s Day began when Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to honor her father, William Jackson Smart, a single parent who raised six children in Spokane, Washington. She initially suggested June 5, the anniversary of his death.
However, when that date would not provide organizers with enough time to make arrangements, the first Father’s Day was celebrated in 1910 in Spokane on the third Sunday in June.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended Father’s Day be a national holiday. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed Father’s Day as a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday in June, while President Richard Nixon signed a bill into law to do so in 1972.