Community participates in Lexington's annual Father's Day celebration

LEXINGTON, Ky (WKYT) -- Members of the community acknowledged all fathers on Saturday during the 15-annual, city-wide Father's Day weekend in Lexington.
The purpose of the weekend is to raise awareness about the importance of fatherhood.

"Just him being a man of God, a community leader, and a well-respected person has made an impact on my life," said BJ Cater in describing his father.

The day started with a prayer breakfast at First African Baptist Church.
Sam Mitchell, CEO of Valvoline Inc., spoke at the breakfast sharing the challenges raising children.

"Before you know it, the young kids, they become teenagers. It gets complicated. Raising teens is hard these days," said Mitchell, who has two adult sons and one adult daughter.

Pastor Marvin King of 1st Baptist Church Winchester told fathers that being a great parent does not mean being perfect.

"When they see us, do they see men who are living by the convictions and passions of the word of God, and are here by the grace of God?" asked King.

Following the breakfast, people walked to Douglas Park for some family fun.

David Cozart, who works with the Fatherhood Initiative of the Lexington Leadership Foundation, explained it's also important to encourage fathers who are not present.

"We encourage individuals by supporting them, giving them resources to address any issues they might have, whether it's mental illness, economic instability, or marginal housing," said Cozart.

"We know statistically that father engagement increases the chances of positive life outcomes for many things [like reducing] teen pregnancy and substance abuse."

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