SpoFI Fathers Rally at 2024 Fatherhood Summit: A Weekend of Connection, Learning, and Inspiration

SpoFI dads unite for the 2024 Fatherhood Summit in Tacoma, WA. A weekend of connection, learning, and inspiration, celebrating fatherhood and fostering new relationships.

Last weekend’s Fathering-Fellowship (i.e. “Fathership”) Adventure encouraged several SpoFI “Dad2Dad” Alumni and “24/7 Dad” Grads to rally for a whirlwind road trip to beautiful Tacoma, WA. There, they met with SpoFI President Ron Hauenstein for the 2024 Fatherhood Summit, hosted by Anne Stone, Director of the Washington Fatherhood Council.

After a last-minute phone call from Cameron Dietz, several SpoFI fathers (Benjamin “B” Bado and Garrett Skirvin) jumped into a VW Golf hatchback and hit the road for a midnight drive to the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, sorting out their hotel accommodations and attendance logistics over the phone along the way.

Arriving at 1:30am and enjoying only five hours of sleep in their super-bougie hotel rooms, they woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to a picturesque view of the sun rising over Mt. Rainier from the panoramic glass walls of the Convention Center Lobby.

After meeting with Ron Hauenstein and enjoying a splendid buffet-style continental breakfast, they helped set up the SpoFI information booth and greeted several representatives from various fathering organizations across Washington State.

Throughout the conference, our “Dad2Dad” Varsity/Letterman Jackets were a smash hit with too many compliments to count! One fellow kept asking how he could get his own jacket and even called the SpoFI main office to inquire. Ron informed him that the jackets are only available to those who have successfully completed a full year of SpoFI training (i.e. “24/7 Dad” AM & PM classes and the six-month-long “Dad2Dad” program). The fellow then asked how to bring these classes to the Tacoma/Olympia area so their fathers could earn their own jackets.

There were many wonderful speakers, inspiring stories, and heartfelt conversations, including an expert panel of five dads with lived experience sharing their trials, tribulations, takeaways, and triumphs.

The Awards Ceremony celebrated dads and dad allies, including SpoFI’s own James Tidwell, recognized for his journey in reuniting with his children after several years of separation and navigating the legal system. Although James couldn’t attend the event to receive his award in person, his video testimonial was a heartfelt and memorable moment.

Each father managed to sit at the right tables and meet the right people for their interests and personal and professional growth. Cameron Dietz met Nelson Rascon, the Executive Director of “Dads MOVE,” and was presented with a potential job opportunity. Garrett Skirvin connected with representatives of various Child Welfare Service organizations eager to help him with his challenges as a father of three young boys and provide resources to grow his small business sustainably.

Benjamin B. Bado connected with other dads passionate about peer coaching and counseling, each with unique and inspiring missions and organizations:

After a full day of learning, networking, and resourcing, the three dads headed to “The KOI” for gourmet sushi to celebrate their experience and Garrett’s birthday. Then, they hit the road back to Spokane to “Bring the Love Back Home” 💗💞💗

A good time was had by all, many new contacts were made, win-win-win conversations were explored, and promising personal and professional relationships were kindled!


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