Honoring Kansas City's Father of the Year
Who is Kansas City’s Father of the Year? This year it Ivan Pearl from Kansas City.
Pearl was named Father of the Year Wednesday night June 6th at a celebration of fatherhood at Kauffman Stadium. Every year, the Kansas City Royals and the National Center for Fathering hold an essay contest to find K-C best dad.
Gage Cameron nominated Pearl for Father of the Year. That’s Gage with Ivan in the picture above. Gage didn’t have a father when he was very little. So he “adopted” one. Gage wrote in his essay that when he was five years old, Gage approached Ivan, the husband of his mom’s close friend, and asked him, Will you be my father?” Ivan told Gage, “I would be honored to.” And Pearl followed through. As a senior in high school this year, Gage wrote an essay about Ivan as his “dad” because that’s truly what Ivan has been for all these years. Though, Ivan had three other children, he managed to attend Gage’s games, concerts and spelling bees, welcomed Gage on family vacations and taught him about responsibility and being trustworthy. In Gage’s words, “What I remember most is that he always made me feel special. He called me “son” in front of everyone.
Pearl along with four other Father of the Year finalists; Aaron Allen, Jason Anderson of Lee’s Summit, Greg Howard Jr. of Independence and John Utt or Overland Park were inducted into the National Center for Fathering’s Fathering Hall of Fame.
Pearl got to throw out the first pitch at the Royals game Wednesday night but all the finalists got a 6 month supply of Krispy Kreme donuts, a family pass to the Kansas City Zoo and an autographed baseball from the Royals.
The National Center for Fathering’s essay contest draws 25-hundred essays from 78 Kansas City area schools. There is an essay winner from each grade level and each winner was on hand Wednesday night to read a part of their essay. That includes first grader Emirson Schooley who wrote in her essay about her dad Eric, “God gave me the right daddy! I love him. He treats me like I can do lots of stuff even if I am girl and a boy like him.
I was honored and priviledged to again emcee the celebration of Fatherhood for the 7th time.