It all started back in 2012 when John Francis simply wanted to get some fellow dads together on the night before Father’s Day to drink some beer eat some snacks and watch some baseball. “We just hung out. It was very simple, very easy and it was a lot of fun. The coolest part was connecting guys that didn’t know each other before they had been there, and when they left they were friends.”
The following year, over 50 dads showed up in John’s garage once again to celebrate on the night before Father’s Day. This time they had to step it up, so they added food, games, and even rented some high top tables. Over the course of the night, John looked around at the dads enjoying burgers, playing Mini-Putt Arcade, Bean Bag Toss, sharing amazing stories and building lasting friendships, and he realized they were clearly gaining momentum.
By the third year, they had over 80 dads celebrating this recurring event now dubbed, “Fathers Eve.” Once again, they added more food offerings, expanded the games, and eventually got into the cigars. Some guys even brought their cool collector cars and parked them in front of the house and they suddenly had an impromptu car show all to themselves.
John recounts, “That year, 2014, there were guys coming that I didn’t know that had been invited by other friends who had been there the year before. That was cool and I was happy to welcome them, but that’s when I realized it had momentum of its own. That night someone had challenged me to do something more with this and we started the idea of making it a fundraiser the following year.”
In 2015, “do something more” was exactly what they did. Working with some of the Fathers Eve veterans, they set a lofty goal of raising $10,000. They moved it out of John’s garage and into a nearby restaurant, they added more games and more food, they added an auction, got some publicity and for the first time, opened it to the public by selling tickets.
At the end of the night, over 125 dads showed up and they hit their goal of raising $10,000. The writing was on the wall. Fathers Eve was alive and ready to grow. More importantly, the group of dad-volunteers found that it made a difference in each of their own lives to be able to have time to talk about what it means to be a father, how they can each be better at it, and to do something good for their neighbor, friend or the community.
With the $10,000 in proceeds from the first official Fathers Eve, they donated $5,000 to the Movember Foundation and another $5,000 went to Serving Our Troops, a local charity supporting local military families. This year, we’re excited to announce that Fathers Eve has chosen the National At-Home Dad Network as their 2016 National Charity Partner.
Fathers Eve will be working with City Dads Group and the National At-Home Dad Network to hold events with dads all around the country to celebrate fatherhood together by connecting, laughing and sharing stories the night before Father’s Day.
Each of these Fathers Eve events will share the same goal: “Make Fathers Eve the one night each year to bring dads of all ages together to have fun and share ideas and advice about common yet challenging issues and at the same time support each other and the community.”
If you’d like to join the national effort and attend one of the many Fathers Eve events already planned around the country, or if you want to hold your own Fathers Eve with friends, you can find out more and sign up at www.fatherseve.com.
The group of dads has a vision for making Fathers Eve a national holiday for dads to connect with each other, support good causes and celebrate one of the most amazing experiences in a man’s life. They believe Fatherhood is a team sport and Dads play better when they play together.