Children ate doughnuts and wrote lists of what makes their dads great Saturday at the Silver Springs Recreation Center ahead of Father’s Day.
Adrian Palafox tries to find ways to spend time with his 11-year-old daughter, Jazmine, that gets them both out of the heat, he said. Jazmine is Palafox’s youngest daughter; his 17-year-old and 22-year-old were working Saturday and could not join them.
“The rewarding smile you get when you guys do something together? That’s really what you want,” Palafox said. “That’s the best part of being a dad.”
Jazmine drew a heart on pink paper that said “dad” and had smaller hearts colored in around it.
Two-year-old Leo Hyun held a green bowtie up to his mouth as a mustache and asked his father, Peter, to hold up a black piece of paper cut into a mustache so they would match. Peter Hyun said Saturday they were not celebrating Father’s Day, but fathers and sons day.
Hyun’s wife was taking care of their 1-year-old daughter while Peter and Leo Hyun were at the recreation center.
“Seeing them growing and having fun, it’s all worth it,” Peter Hyun said of his few years of fatherhood.
Recreation services supervisor Danielle Perry led the kids as they drew faces shaped like their hands, complete with mustaches and eyes. Older kids could use markers and make lists of things they love about dad.
“We do this for the community,” she said. “I love to see families get together and have some fun. It brings the neighborhood together.”
Perry walked around meeting every family, taking their photos behind a special backdrop and serving fruits and doughnuts. She expected about 30 families to attend Saturday’s event.
Patrick Arizmendi wore an “Incredible dad” shirt while 2-year-old Benjamin wore a matching “Incredible kid” shirt. Arizmendi said he and his wife take their son to preschool classes at Black Mountain Recreation Center and often use the pool at Henderson Multigenerational Center. Saturday was their first time at Silver Springs.
Benjamin said he was making a drawing on green paper for “dada.”
Jason Grace’s Father’s Day celebrations began earlier in the week, when his 14-year-old son, Lucas, and 10-year-old son, Ethan, completed all of their dad’s housework.
“They did all my chores,” Grace said, choking up. “That meant the world to me.”
Grace was planning to spend Sunday eating ice cream by the pool. He didn’t know his sons had been working all week with their mom, Leslie, and 2-year-old sister, Erica, on a special gift for Sunday.