You have to save the father before you can save the children. That's the motto of ForeverDads, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening fatherhood.
On Sunday night ForeverDads held its graduation celebration and alumni reunion at Rolling Plains United Methodist Church in Zanesville. Executive Director Burl Lemon said the fathers completed a 13 session program focusing on the impact of healthy relationships.
"We bridged together the sports theme NFL and then the national program is called Nurturing Fathers for Life," said Lemon. "It's really about how we can equip, educate and encourage fathers to be responsible in the lives of their families."
Since the start of this program in 2003, ForeverDads has graduated more than 100 fathers. State Representative Brian Hill provided the ceremony's closing remarks. He said the success of ForeverDads shows how the Zanesville community is stepping up to build stronger families.
"There's a role for fathers in our families and communities," said Hill. "We're trying to put an emphasis back on that, because we have so many challenges when it comes to families in this economy, and as these men have realized, they've overcome obstacles to try to be better fathers."
State Senator Troy Balderson was also in attendance Sunday evening.