Turnout high at Fatherhood Coalition back-to-school bash

Kevin Boozer Staff Writer

August 30, 2013

WINNSBORO — The Fairfield Fatherhood Coalition held its back-to-school bash where around 200 people attended, a big increase from the 60 or so people event organizers expected. The three-hour event exceeded the expectations of Fairfield Fatherhood Coalition Director Rudolph Walker.

“This really was an event for our clients but then word got out and participation increased in the community,” he said. “One father actually went through his neighborhood and picked up children to bring to be a part of our back to school celebration. The community itself flowed in and we took care of who showed up.”

The turnout encouraged Walker who works to mentor fathers, particularly young fathers, so they understand how to have a positive role in the lives of their children.

“This shows the community recognizes the importance of improving education to improve the economy and public safety,” he said.

Walker thanked area businesses for their contributions for the meal and the county for supplying tables and chairs. A highlight of the event was a rock climbing wall provided by the Army National Guard.

Supplies handed out included paper, notebooks, rulers, crayons, markers and pencils. The main sponsor was the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition, in collaboration with the Richland and Lexington Fatherhood Coalition offices.

He said the coalition in recent months helped several fathers with employment opportunities while others received their GEDs.

“If people make a commitment and want (to better themselves), we will help,” Walker said.