May 31, 2013

Father’s Day Contest: Family Voices Asks You to Share What ‘F-A-T-H-E-R’ Means to You

Father’s Day Contest: Family Voices Asks You to Share What ‘F-A-T-H-E-R’ Means to You

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Sunday, June 16 is Father's Day this year in the United States. Family Voices is honoring fathers by offering a special, free contest asking families to share the meaning of the word ‘F-A-T-H-E-R'. (Note that Family Voices will announce the results of the May Mother's Day Contest the first week in June!)

To enter, please go to .

This contest is open to families, extended families, and friends of families of children and youth with special health care needs. Entries will be received until Monday, June 17 (the day after Father's Day). For the remainder of the month of June, the general public will be invited to vote on their favorite entries. The judging process will be announced on Family Voices' website at and Facebook page at The first place winner will receive a $75 Target gift card. All entrants will receive a free one-year membership to Family Voices. The winners will be announced at the beginning of July.

There are many kinds of families, with different structures, traditions, histories, races, ethnicities, genders, and generations. Still, there would be no families without fathers - and no families of children with special health care needs. So, fathers are very, very important to the work of Family Voices.

We are asking you to take the word ‘FATHER' and share one word or short phrase beginning with each of these letters that together give a feeling or description of what ‘Father' means to you.

Here is an example: FATHER = Fabulous, Always there, Takes care of me, Hero in my world, Excellent at so many things, Reassures me when I'm down.

And there are an infinite number of possibilities! If you need a little help, we suggest you go to your dictionary (or online dictionary), browse through the words under a particular letter, and see what strikes your fancy.

Entrants are also asked to provide an original photograph from their life or family that illustrates what the word ‘father' means to them. This can be: a photograph of a father; a father and children; a child or children by themselves; or anything else that represents fatherhood to you. You will have an opportunity to describe the subject of the photograph, and why you chose this image.

There are two stories of when the first Father's Day was celebrated. According to some accounts, the first Father's Day was celebrated in Washington state on June 19, 1910. A woman named Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea of honoring and celebrating her father while listening to a Mother's Day sermon at church in 1909. Sonora's dad had raised her on his own after his wife died in the process of giving birth to Sonora, their sixth child. The first celebration of Father's Day in Spokane, Washington took place the third Sunday in June, 1910.

The other story of the first Father's Day took place on the other side of the country in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. Grace Golden Clayton suggested to the minister of the local Methodist church that they hold services to celebrate fathers after a deadly mine explosion killed 361 men.

As Father's Day began to be celebrated locally in several communities across the country, unofficial support to make the celebration a national holiday began almost immediately. William Jennings Bryant was one of its strongest advocates. In 1924, President Calvin recommended that Father's Day become a national holiday. In 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson, through an executive order, designated the third Sunday in June as the official day to celebrate Father's Day. Finally in 1972, during the Nixon administration, that Father's Day was officially recognized as a national holiday. For more information about the history of Father's Day, please visit

Family Voices honors Fathers, and the sometimes challenging, and tremendously important work they do in the world. We appreciate you!