It was another fabulous luncheon, both tearful and joyful, that Dan Orwig (president and CEO of the Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council) and Mark Shriver (Special Advisor to Save the Children) hosted with panache.
Orwig kicked it off by noting how thrilled everyone was to be back in person and that the Council has, over its 80 years, honored more than 500 outstanding dads. Shriver spoke to the mission of Save the Children, which was founded in rural Kentucky after the depression and continues to serve kids living in poverty (1 in 6 in America). He believes that education is the most powerful weapon to change the world and pointed out that Save the Children provided more than 45 million meals during the pandemic. (Throughout the afternoon, Shriver warned the honoree dads about putting too much pressure on their kids: “We had no pressure growing up in my family,” he recalled. “We just had to become president by the age of 40…”)
ABOVE: Dave Price, Mark Shriver, Ryan Day, Jason Nalls Sr., and Jay Schottenstein attend the 80th Annual Father of the Year Awards on June 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
And this year’s Father of the Year honorees were: Jay Schottenstein of Schottenstein Stores, All-Star dad Jason Nalls Sr, weather anchor and comedian (he’s performed for U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait) Dave Price, and Ohio State football coach Ryan Day. Each had some special words of wisdom to share.
Jay Schottenstein spoke about how grandchildren (he has 6, going on 7) are precious gifts, and then quoted from the Talmud: “When you teach your sons, you teach your son’s sons.” He spoke of his own father Jerome, gone for thirty years now, and how often he wonders how his dad would respond to various situations.
Ryan Day (2019 Big 10 Coach of the Year and in 2021, helping his team lead the nation in both scoring and total offense) advised the audience to truly appreciate family time. “Don’t obsess about the past or the future: just be in the moment and enjoy each other.” He also noted that he lost his dad when he was just 9 years old and has therefore made it his mission to be a father figure to others.
Dave Price joked that he first became involved with the Father’s Day Council to get some free clothes, but is now extremely proud to be an ambassador for Save the Children. His message to fathers: “It’s okay that you’re not always perfect, as long as you keep trying to be. My dad has kept trying for a lifetime and for that I truly thank him…” He noted that he’d always thought his joy in life was being in the spotlight until he got married, had kids, and got fired by CBS. “I learned that a greater joy is being Jackie’s husband, and dad to Eli (age 9) and Caroline (age 8).”
Jason Nalls Sr was presented his All-Star-Dad award by a lovely daughter, one of his “four quirky kids!” He noted that, growing up in a small town in Georgia, he learned three things from his mom and dad: be kind, be courteous, and treat all people with respect. Although his dad now has dementia and his mom has passed, he knows they’re both smiling, seeing that their lessons have made a difference. He only hopes his kids “will treat people the way I was taught to…” Jason is a professional driver who has made it his mission to serve his community in many ways: as a coaching mentor who guides student athletes, ministering to cancer survivors, and caring for his own dad. As Dave Price proclaimed after Jason spoke, “Go out in your communities and celebrate the good people like Jason who are quietly making a better world.”
To get involved or donate: FathersDayCouncil.org and SaveTheChildren.org/USA.