Announcing the 2024 SpoFI Fathers of the Year Recipients

2024 SpoFI Fathers of the Year Recipients

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 SpoFI Fathers of the Year award

This year, we have the honor of recognizing not one, but two exceptional fathers who have demonstrated remarkable commitment, growth, and leadership within their families and communities. Congratulations to Jim Uttke and Donald Morrison!

Jim Uttke: A Journey of Transformation and Service

Jim Uttke has undergone an incredible transformation since enrolling in fatherhood classes at SpoFI. He has completed both the Basic and Advanced courses, as well as the intensive six-month Dad2Dad program. Jim is a devoted father to his 11-year-old daughter, whom he homeschools.

Jim’s dedication to SpoFI is exemplary. He has facilitated or co-facilitated several elective courses, including Anger Free Dad and Seven Secrets of Effective Fathers, all on a volunteer basis. His journey from a hesitant volunteer to a confident leader is truly inspiring.

One of Jim’s notable contributions includes setting up and staffing the SpoFI information tent at a community event. He is always the first to volunteer for additional assignments and stays late after classes to help with any remaining tasks.

Beyond his volunteer work, Jim has made significant strides in his personal life. A former drug dealer, he openly shares his story of overcoming anger and selfishness through the lessons he learned at SpoFI and his growing faith in God. Despite facing a challenging co-parenting situation, Jim consistently demonstrates patience and trust in God’s plan.

Jim has excelled in all five key areas emphasized in the 24-7 Dad classes: self-awareness, self-care, fathering skills, parenting skills, and relationship skills. He particularly values the self-awareness he has gained, which has helped him understand his emotional triggers and the impact of his past behavior on others. With newfound confidence, Jim embraces his journey as a follower of Christ and strives to be the best father he can be.

Donald Morrison: A Testament to Second Chances

Donald Morrison’s story is a testament to the power of second chances and the support of SpoFI. From a lengthy criminal history to a journeyman carpenter, husband, church leader, and for the first time, a licensed driver, Donald’s transformation is nothing short of miraculous.

Referred to SpoFI in 2021 by a Department of Corrections Reentry Navigator, Donald entered the Graduated Reentry (GRE) program. With the dedicated support of SpoFI Reentry Coordinator Fred Dent, Donald completed a job training program and secured employment in construction. His commitment to personal growth and community involvement is evident; he never missed a Sunday service at his church, even riding a rent-a-scooter five miles when he missed his bus.

SpoFI also played a crucial role in helping Donald resolve over 30 outstanding legal issues, allowing him to obtain his driver’s license for the first time. With SpoFI’s assistance, Donald began supervised visits with his daughter, eventually regaining full custody.

Donald completed the 24:7 Dad Basic class in July 2022 and has since made significant progress in his life. He leased a home, bought a reliable car, married a wonderful Christian woman, and became a leader in his local church. His hard work and dedication have earned him a pay raise and a valuable role in his community.

Celebrating Our Heroes

We celebrate Jim Uttke and Donald Morrison for their exceptional achievements and dedication to their families and communities. Their stories inspire us all and highlight the transformative power of support, faith, and perseverance. Join us in congratulating these outstanding fathers on their well-deserved recognition as SpoFI’s 2024 Fathers of the Year!

SpoFI’s reentry program (Second Chances) is funded by a generous grant from Victory Faith Fellowship Church in the Spokane Valley, which graciously welcomes returning citizens to its Sunday services.

Connect with Our Executive Director

SpoFI Founder and Executive Director Ron Hauenstein
SpoFI Founder and Executive Director Ron Hauenstein

SpoFI Founder and Executive Director Ron Hauenstein would enjoy the opportunity to share the SpoFI story with you. To arrange a meeting to learn more about how SpoFI helps dads become better fathers and employees, contact Ron using the button below.