The Zeta Tau Foundation partnered with the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Zeta Tau Chapter, to sponsor the event. About 40 members and friends walked the 3.3 miles around the outer perimeter of the Rose Bowl.
Harold Reese, chairman of the event and his wife Galen, presented each participant with a gold medalion attached to a purple and gold colored ribbon. Reese encouraged fathers and families to enjoy time together outside.
Larry Hammond, spokesperson for the event, told the group it is important for fathers to be involved in the lives of their families. Citing facts from Omega Psi Phi and 2011 U.S. Census Bureau, Hammond reminded all that a father's absence from the home, can affect the stability of families and the state of a community's health.
According to national research: "Children in father absent homes are five times more likely to live in poverty; 66% more likely to engage in illicit drug use; become teenage parents; engage in criminal behavior; participate in gang activity; be victims of child abuse; and experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems."
The annual Rose Bowl Walk-About is part of an international effort by the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and its partnering organizations to bring fathers back into contact with their families.
Robert W. Fairchild, Chairman of the International Committee on Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiatives for Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., said "brothers who are fathers and fathers who are not fraternity brothers" should be encouraged to participate in efforts to close the gap of father absenteeism in the lives of their children.
Several events occured this Father's Day weekend in California and the United States. In Los Angeles, a Father-Family Bike Ride took place from Dockweiler Beach to Manhattan Beach Pier (3.7 miles one way). The event sponsored by, Major League Fathers, in partnership with Tau Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi asked fathers to be intentional in leading their families in the area of fun, health and bonding.
In Orange County, Basileus Eric Bell reported that Mu Alpha Alpha Chapter partnered with the Orange County Uplift Foundation and held a Father's Day Scholarship Brunch for a packed house of about 150 participants. Recognition was given to scholarship recipients. Participants enjoyed an extensive brunch/buffet menu.
In Northern California, Dr. Joseph Marshall discussed Fatherhood on his community talk show, "Street Soldiers," on KMEL – FM. "The lack of fathers in our community . . . is a huge issue," he said. Brothers of Pi Chi joined him in the studio.
In Washington DC, Fairchild, retired Colonel, US Army, Vietnam Veteran and leader in the International Fraternity reported that the fraternity partnered with several governmental agencies and other groups to produce a two-day regional event entitled: "Pathways to Empowerment: Men of Purpose –Youth of Promise."
[Photo credit: Ed B. Massey.]