2016 Best NOLA Dad Finalists

2016 Best NOLA Dad Finalists

We received some amazing submissions for this year’s Best NOLA Dad campaign … nominated by wives, fiancés, daughters, sons, sisters, and friends … all who have made a difference in the lives of others and who motivate and inspire those around them. It was a very difficult task, and we really wish we could name everyone nominated Best NOLA Dad, but we were finally able to narrow the nominations down to the top 10 finalists.

A team of objective judges from Delivering Hope NOLA will determine the Best NOLA Dad from the top 10 finalists below, and the winner will be announced on Saturday, June 18th!

Best Nola Dad Insta

The Top 10 Finalists

Drew Williams

IMG_0853 (1){Nominated by Stephanie Williams} Drew is the most selfless, caring and hardworking man I’ve ever met. He is a NOPD officer that puts his life on the lines to help other people and to try to better the city of New Orleans. Not only does he work exhausting hours between time on the street, court and staying late to complete paper work, he still manages to be a great dad to his 1 year old son. He sometimes only goes on 3 hours of sleep a night just so he can spend time with his son before he goes on his next shift. He sacrifices so much for his family, and works his tail off so his family can have a great life. Although he is really busy while working, he manages to take five minutes to Facetime with us every evening, just to say goodnight – see you tomorrow morning to our son. He never does anything for himself and always worries about taking care of others before taking care of himself. He is our hero. He is my husband. And he is the best dad my son and I could ever ask for.

Anthony Hennessey

Hennessey{Nominated byMarcy M. Hennessey} Anthony is an amazing man & excellent father to our two boys. You would never know that our oldest, Dylan, is not biologically his own. Anthony & I met when he was stationed here with the USMC in 2012 and married shortly after. He was an active duty Staff Sergeant for 10 years and was honored with many medals throughout his service and numerous deployments. Even though Anthony dreamed of a military career and retirement, he chose to leave the USMC through an early out program when he found out our oldest son Dylan would have to stay in New Orleans if he was ever transferred. He made such a huge sacrifice because he knew a life without our Dylan wouldn’t be a life at all. Determined to still help others and continue working in the aviation field, he got a job with Metro Aviation and works as a mechanic on the hospitals’ helicopters. He is on call 24 hours a day and ready at a moment’s notice in the event he is called to work. He has spent several nights on the roofs of hospitals, including Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, fixing helicopters to ensure they are ready in case of an emergency instead of being home with his family. Through all of this he manages to coach all of Dylan’s sports teams and never misses an event or special occasion for either of the boys. I know he was very nervous when Bennett was born, as he had no experience with babies and didn’t enter Dylan’s life until he was four, but he has been a wonderful father from the beginning. He and Bennett share an unbreakable bond. Anthony is also an exceptional man because after the tragic death of my 36 year old brother last year, he stepped up to become the “man of the family” for my mom, my sister, and myself. He promised my brother he would take care of all of us and he lives up to that promise every day- cutting lawns, changing light bulbs, fixing anything and everything, changing oils, cooking dinner, and anything else we need. He is such a staple part of our family, we don’t know what we would do without him. I truly feel lucky to have Anthony as a husband, but more importantly, my children are blessed to have him as a father.

Brad Dorsey

image1 (2){Nominated by Danielle Dorsey} Brad was diagnosed with a brain tumor in October 2015, just 8 months after our little girl was born. We also have a 3 year old little boy. He had to move to Houston for 8 weeks to receive radiation at MD Anderson from November through January. Even though tired and not feeling well, he flew home every weekend to spend time with our kids. He’s always made them both his priority, even through chemotherapy, which continues until February 2017. He dresses, feeds and brings the kids to school everyday, and then picks them up everyday as well. Neither of our kids ever know he’s sick, because he’s pushed through the hard times so flawlessly. He is the most amazing father to our children and one of the absolute strongest men I’ve ever known. I’m lucky to call him my husband.

Robert Fischer

Bob Fischer{Nominated by Kelly Fischer} Robert (Bob) deserves to win this year for many reasons. He does make a difference in the lives of our two sons. Being an older dad might give him a handy excuse to opt out of a lot of activities, but one of Bob’s favorite things about being a father later in life is that he has much more time to spend with the boys. Not only does he enjoy the little, everyday things, like riding bikes to school with our son, Reed, but he also takes time out to help develop bigger opportunities for our children, and children in this community. Our older son, Noah, is blind, has autism, and is mentally impaired. When I began work to develop a performing arts program for kids like Noah, Bob jumped in 100%. This is not an easy program to run. We take children of ALL levels of support needs and as such, it means that every staff member and volunteer is very busy throughout the season. Every day of the program, the Prism Project of Greater New Orleans, he is there volunteering in all ways possible: encouraging a child who needs help, and cheering for a child when he or she has done well.

I remember one day Noah’s teacher asked me to think about what was most important for Noah to learn at school that year. At home, I was pondering the question, and I said to Bob, “What is the most important thing for Noah to know?” Bob did not know what I was working on, and he thought for a moment and he said, “That he is loved.” That is the kind of dad Bob is.

As a retired psychologist, Bob has used his skills to return to the community. He volunteered with the NOPD Crisis Unit for some time, and volunteered with the Audubon Zoo (he worked with primates in graduate school, and taught animal behavior when he was a professor at Ball State University). He also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity before physical problems prevented him from doing so. Currently, he is a volunteer board member for Families Helping Families of Southeast Louisiana, and he volunteers for WRBH Reading Radio.

I could not ask for a better father for my children. I am very fortunate that he sees the unique strengths that each one possesses and encourages both despite the fact that they are two very different individuals.

John Crabtree

{Nominated by Regina Crabtree} My husband, John, is the father of our 2 children. Vivienne will turn 5 next month and Jake is 3. Jake is autistic so there are some added challenges to his care. John also is the general manager of a Party City. He takes his job very seriously and takes great pride in it. He considers himself a mentor and a friend to his staff, always a shoulder to lean on if needed. If this wasn’t enough, he’s also in school full time and scheduled to graduate in the fall. This past semester he was awarded a place on the President’s List for maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher. John’s main priority is always his family. He works hard in all aspects of his life to provide for us and still manages to find time to be a fun and loving dad. The kids just can’t wait for him to even get through the door when he gets home! He definitely deserves this award.

John Grillot

{Nominated by Lisa Grillot} He’s the father of 8 kids, helps in every way possible to mentor not only his own children but all of the friends that pass through our home. He’s a coach, a business owner, a foundation owner and the best father in the world. He helps not only his own kids and their friends but the children of New Orleans too with his Trumpets Not Guns foundation, where he gives away instruments to kids of New Orleans. There is nothing he won’t do to help a child in need.

Leoance Williams

Lee{Nominated byBrandy & Lee III WilliamsIt is a pleasure and honor for my son and I to nominate our guy for the Best NOLA Dad. He is smart, compassionate, kind, and the rock for our family. On a personal level, he jumps in to take our son to his many sporting and Boy Scout events. He coaches him in track and field, helps me to learn about being a gentleman, and encourages our son to always put his best foot forward. For me, his wife, he makes sure that dinner is on the table when I, am most busy. He cleans and manages to be selfless when I am stressed. At work, his performance has been recognized as stellar, and he has been promoted twice this year as a result. In the community, he gives back all of the time. He mentors Opportunity Youth through church and local organizations. He volunteered to help the Dillard University track team win a national title this year, and he tutors girls in Math and Science to help them grow a love for those under represented fields. He embodies Best NOLA Dad with everything that he does!

David Marek

unnamed (3){Nominated by Whitney Marek} Back in 2010, he was injured as a New Orleans Police Officer in the line of duty. The next few years he had 4 major surgeries, one of which almost killed him. He had to learn to talk again as well as walk. It has been a very emotional process but one thing that has never changed is his love for our kids. He always puts their needs before his. No matter how much pain he may be in. Because of his injuries he can not work. He is a stay at home dad. Our kids get 1 on 1 attention from him that most kids do not get. He is a wonderful, caring, very supportive man. I love my husband so much and to me he is the best dad ever! We have 5 kids and one on the way. It amazes me the love and dedication he gives them. Like I said earlier, he doesn’t let his pain and injuries keep him from being a loving supportive father.

Daniel Schumacher

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{Nominated by Christa Schumacher} Daniel deserves to win the Best NOLA Dad award for being the most supportive husband and father during our roller coaster year to becoming new parents. Not only was he the most caring and nurturing husband during a heartbreaking miscarriage, he was my rock and caregiver during the following pregnancy, which became a high risk pregnancy that put me on bed rest and ended in a c-section at 34 weeks. He was selflessly there during my stay and our daughter’s NICU stay, attending to both the needs of myself and our sweet daughter, Lucy. While I was stuck in bed, he would so effortlessly bring me photos and videos of our beautiful girl to ease my new mother worries. Once home with our daughter, Dan was once again always there, offering countless encouragement through difficult breastfeeding days, singing sweet songs during the longs nights, and giving tender hugs and kisses to our tiny baby.

Joshua Dominique

Father of the Year{Nominated by Carmen Dominique} I would like to nominate my husband, Joshua Dominique, for 2016 Father of the Year. I believe Joshua deserves this special award because he has been such an inspiration for our family and other families dealing with managing epilepsy. In January 2010 Joshua was diagnosed with epilepsy that turned our lives upside down. He suffered several seizures throughout the years and struggled with managing his condition. In 2014 after we found out we were expecting Joshua made the decision to do whatever it took to make sure he stayed as healthy as possible for his new baby girl. Joshua embarked on a lifestyle change that included changes to his diet, exercising, and complete compliance with his medications. I am happy to report that as of today Joshua has been seizure free for over 2 years! He subscribes to the epilepsy foundation blog and often writes on juggling his condition with the sleepless nights and stressful days of being a dad. In addition to successfully managing his health, Joshua cares for his 92 year old grandmother. He takes her to all her doctors’ appointments, completes her grocery shopping, manages her medications, and visits daily to provide care. He is affectionately referred to as “grandma’s boy” because he dotes over his grandmother, taking care of her every need. Strangers often stop him while out with our 18 month old and his grandmother to comment on how wonderful it is to see a man in his position. So many times we women get so much credit for all of the hard work we do managing our families and other responsibilities that we don’t take time out to commend our great fathers. Did I also mention that Joshua runs his families furniture and antique business located in Mid City New Orleans? Owning your own business is one of the hardest things a person can do but Joshua works 6 days a week 10 hours a day supporting his Uncle, to ensure that his families’ business is a success. Often when I am not available due to work or other obligations, Joshua will pick our daughter up from daycare and bring her back to the store until close. The customers delight in seeing this tiny toddler greeting the customers as they walk in and saying “bye bye” as they leave. He often says that it is because of his daughter he works so hard to make sure the business is a success. Although he has a full plate Joshua still finds time to take our daughter to her swim classes as the UNO aquatic center. He is usually the only father in the pool and never complains about being too tired to go. He recently confided that coming home and hearing the patter of footsteps and scream of “DADDY” is one of the happiest feelings he’s ever had. I am so lucky to have such as supportive, attentive, affectionate father for my daughter and I truly believe he is the 2016 Father of the Year.

Not only will the winner be named the 2016 Best NOLA Dad, but he will also win the fabulous prize package giveaway valued over $500 including:

  • A gift certificate to Carrollton Market (value of $150)
  • The Ultimate New Orleans Home Bar Kit from Sazerac, including 3 bottles of Sazerac Rye (750ml), one bottle each of Herbsaint, Peychaud’s Barrel Aged Bitters, Legendre OJEN, Peychaud’s Aperitivo, Sazerac Cocktail Wooden Painting from Home Malone and one set of Sazerac Cocktail Glasses (value of $200)
  • A gift card from Brix Apparel
  • One six pack each of Charming Wit and Holy Roller IPA, one pint glass and a T-shirt, as well as a private tour and tasting for 6 from Urban South Brewery (value of $100)
  • A gift card from tasc Performance (value of $50)Untitled design (2)

The winner will be announced on Saturday, June 18th!

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