Grandfathers honored for being “the shoulders upon which we stand”

Several hundred people paid tribute to 11 area grandfathers at the 2013 Grandfather Celebration, sponsored by the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative and the Social Development Commission.

Building on the celebration’s motto, “The Shoulders Upon which We Stand,” the grandfathers were nominated by family members.

“My grandfather took on the role as my dad; from providing for me, to giving me guidance, to teaching me to ride a bike, to assisting me with life lessons,” Cheykese Weathers said of her grandfather, Joe Weathers, in her nomination.

Denise Patton wrote of Ronald Robinson, “He helps out financially, although he’s not able to work full time. He cooks, cleans and even washes their clothes . . . While challenged daily with his health, he continues to support his son, daughter-in-law and his grandchildren.”

The ceremony, which took place at Milwaukee’s Destiny Youth Plaza, 7210 N. 76th St., began with the grandfathers participating in a processional accompanied by the Paradigm Drumline and La Luz Mundo’s Light of the World youth choir.

Other children, including Jaylon Gentry and Amira Owens, presented readings. Jaylon read “A Tribute to All Grandparents” and Amira recited “Walk a Little Slower Granddad.”

In nominating her father, Michael Snowden, for a grandfather award, Shanelle Snowden asserted, “He still always finds time for his grandkids and the rest of his family. He is a man with great strength and faith and he always encourages me to keep pushing no matter how hard it might get.”

Alderman Willie Hines, Jr. presented awards to the grandfathers and shared his recollections of growing up in the city, and radio host and author Earl Ingram, Jr. spoke about becoming stronger, committed and loving grandparents.

Both the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative and the Social Development Commission offer resources and information for men to become better fathers and grandfathers.

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