Words by Adrian McQueen, Photos by Leon Brittain, Henri Fisher, Garvin St Villier and Adrian McQueen
Father’s Day in the Maryland, DC and Virginia area was elevated by Fit Fathers for the 6th consecutive year with exercise, laughter, dance, music and fun. We bring dads and father figures together to demonstrate the importance of being health conscious and leading by example through positive, nutritional choices.
Hype for the event was built from engaging social media campaigns and coverage from our media partners at Radio One, Fox 5 DC, News Channel 8, WUSA 9 and a host of media outlets. Additionally, with $2,500 in prizes at stake for our fitness challenges, over 500 attendees came to the celebration ready for action which resulted in an eventful morning.
“I had an absolute blast at Fit Fathers Day today,” stated attendee Erin Subramanian. “I love that the organizers celebrated fathers through fitness on this special day. What a great mission.”
The Fit Fathers Foundation believes health, fitness and nutrition can help fathers live longer and challenges dads to eat clean, stay active and continuously energize their lives. Held at Veterans Plaza in Downtown Silver Spring, MD, fun-for-all group exercises with trainers Michelangelo Bance, Tiffani Jenkins and Styves Exantus motivated the crowd. Yoga was led by Conscious Crusade to the melody of PanLara’s steel drums and Marco Castro hosted our Zumba set. New and enjoyable for this year was the boxing experience by Coach T of the Hard Training Club. The kids highly adored the interactive playground while guests were treated to DJ Blinks who kept guests grooving as he spun hits on the 1s and 2s.
We honored dads and their families for supporting the cause and in exchange they gave us their time and energy. People left the celebration already asking about the 7th Annual in 2020. Of course, the amazement would not have been possible without the sponsors and partners who initially recognized the vision and helped bring FFD to fruition. Much love and respect is directed to MOM’s, ZICO, Sean Jean, JBL, The Washington Auto Show, Wegman’s, Strider Bikes, Soul Cycle, Bose and Meatless Monday. As well, a very special thank you is in order for all patrons and volunteers who attended and participated. It was only right that Fit Fathers Day included some Automotive Rhythms flavor in the form of an active lifestyle vehicle showcase including the new VW Jetta GLI, Kia Stinger, Chrysler Pacifica, Mazda3 and Nissan Armada.
The success of Fit Fathers Day is additionally attributed to community partners including Modell’s Sporting Goods, Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. Stars, Men’s Health Network, WAPA, Powerful Beyond Measure, PanLara, African American Health Program, Live Nation, Maryland Department of Police, Pat The Rock, Vibram, Downtown Silver Spring, Visit Montgomery County, Turtle Wax Car Care and The Washington Wizards.
Fit Fathers’ positive message is spreading among the lives of many including the NFL. National Ambassadors Jason McCourty and Devin McCourty of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots focus their attention on sickle cell disease. “We have seen firsthand the devastating effects of sickle cell on family members and we are choosing to use our platform to help others in similar situations,” said Jason. “This is something very personal to us and we’re thrilled to continue working with Embrace Kids Foundation,” added Devin.
Although FFD is a special occasion to recognize dads during their time of celebration, our mission also encourages moms, kids and families throughout the year. Stay tuned for more Fit Fathers events as we continue to engage with various communities around the country. Enjoy the photo gallery.