Imagine my pride and satisfaction when my 14-year-old son agreed immediately to join me on Sunday morning, June 17th, for the Tenth Annual Gary Papa Run to benefit those suffering from prostate cancer. For us, the event will be a one-mile fun walk, although the usual 5k is also part of the deal. Honestly, I can't think of a better gift (it certainly beats a new tie---I have plenty of those, already).
Gary, as most of you know, was one of the most energetic and magnetic personalities we've ever seen here at 6abc. A fixture on Channel 6 for nearly 30 years, he was literally a walking icon and it was hard to think of the city's sports scene without thinking of him. He was truly apart of the fabric of our community.
When Gary contracted prostate cancer and then passed away in June of 2009, at the young age of 54, it was hard for any of us to believe.Gary made the issue of prostate cancer, the importance of getting checked, and raising money to fight the disease, the focus of his last years with us. The walk has become a hub for Channel 6 employees who gather every year to continue Gary's mission.
Really it's everyone's mission and can involve any family, whether or not cancer has touched close to home. In bringing your children to this event and walking together with them, you're honoring the institution of fatherhood. It also puts the idea in your children's heads that problems like this aren't solved in a vacuum, it takes action and earnest effort to affect positive change.
Plus, if you count their attendance as your gift from them for Father's Day, you're reinforcing a rather valuable lesson that the best gifts don't always have to come wrapped-up in paper and bows. Sometimes, it's an idea, an action that can mean the most.
So if you're down there in front of the Art Museum on Sunday, say hello, by all means, but congratulate my son for being so willing to spend the best quality time there is with his dad. It's time that adds support to a worthy cause, and that makes me immensely proud of my kid.
To support me, you can make a donation through this link.
To register for the walk/run, click here. You can pick-up your bib or register on site up until 8am. The walking and running begins between 8:30 and 9am.
---David MurphyRead more Parenting Perspective blogs by visiting the Parenting Channel on 6abc.com.