CHARLESTON, MO (KFVS) - Around 300 people attended "Dunkin' with Dads (and Other Important Men)," held on Thursday, December 1 at Charleston Middle School.
The event was for students in grades PreK to 8th and their fathers or father figures. It was free and open to the public.
This event shattered the previous Dunkin' attendance record set last year at 225, adding around 80 more individuals.
The guest speaker for the event was Mr. Lester Gillespie, Youth Programs Director for Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center and proud Blue Jay alumnus. Gillespie has partnered with Charleston R-1 on many occasions, and runs after-school and summer programs that both educate and enrich the lives of local students.
He spoke about the importance of male role models in the lives of children, and gave tips on how to reinforce positive behavior.
Activities were located throughout the school for families to visit. Missouri Conservation sponsored a booth on wildlife furs and distributed giveaways.
Other activities included open-gym basketball, a novelty photo booth, face painting, mini-golf and a movie room.
A game called Trick Shots had players trying to complete a difficult trick shot. A penalty flag football game had students trying to land a flag in the end zone.
After the guest speaker, pizza and refreshments were served in the commons, including fresh-baked cookies provided by OPAA! Food Services.
This is the school's 5th annual Dunkin' with Dads.
The first was held in 2010, with guest speaker Coach Gene Bess of Three Rivers College. Coach Bess returned in 2013, and the following year saw Principal Frank Ellis as the guest speaker.
In 2015, former Blue Jays coach Alfred Marshall was the guest speaker, and in the same school year B.J. Babb, the parent liaison, launched a sister project to Dunkin' with Dads, called "Music with Moms," with guest speaker Portia Zellars.
The purpose of Dunkin' with Dads was to promote fatherhood, male role-models, local student sports opportunities, and Charleston R-1 athletics.
The school would like to thank faculty and staff, Lester Gillespie, Kathy Browning, Brett Blackman and their CHS student volunteers, Rob Lupardus, Tim McClard, Frank Ellis, Eric Vorhees, SRO Brenda Bickford, Susan Collier, Orange Hat Productions, OPAA! Food Services, and Summer Babb.