It’s always a treat to flip through the June issue of the magazine and come face to face with the men in our lives. Obviously, they are a significant influence in our day-to-day activities, but it is with great pleasure that we focus on these fellas during our Father’s Day month. The role of a dad is vital in our society. No two dads are the same, yet each one’s impact is poignant and powerful. I especially appreciate the role of the stepfather or the adoptive dad. These superheroes opt in. That’s right. I guess the same could be said — for the most part — for biological dads. But, I like to think that in the case of those amazingly selfless individuals, they are asked if they want to do the job, evaluate the sacrifice and sleepless nights ahead and say, OK…let’s do this. Beyond the basic human needs, kids want love, comfort, acceptance, a little discipline and a parent’s time. It’s more than a full time job, and it changes us more than almost anything else I can think of. It’s been fun to watch a new dad in our office. There isn’t anyone who loves his family more, but there are shifts in how he has to live his life, and sometimes watching sports at the pub, playing hockey with friends and social time in general take a major turn. You can see the realization that even though it is a different time and a shift in priorities, the benefit and reward is worth each sacrifice. It’s lovely to watch a new family grow. Many people know the hard knock, rock n’ roll public persona of Mojo the radio disc jockey, but they may be surprised by the soft and squishy dad and family man that he truly is. Matt “Mojo” Lersch has found his true calling; building Lego castles, strolling down the aisles at Lowes or watching the kids hit a curve ball is his new party after five or weekend getaway. I can also picture Todd Lake of Northwood University, one of our local features, sitting through tea parties with his daughters. In fact, knowing Todd from the community, I’m sure he was dressed in perfect trendy style. The same could also be said for Rhondell Brown, a budding entrepreneur. He isn’t a dad yet, but he lives life passionately and has goals for a future that coincide with growing a great company, while also helping others. At the tender age of 24, Rhondell understands that age-old mantra, “to those whom much is given, much is expected.” I believe that as well. It’s deeply important to me to help others in as many ways as I can. And, sometimes I try to help in areas that are a little out of my comfort zone. Most would probably recognize that I might not be a handy woman. In fact, I’ve genuinely tried to do some DIY projects and let’s just say that it didn’t go as well as I might have liked. But, it didn’t stop my desire to help support Habitat for Humanity Lansing’s Women Build project last month. Sheri Jones, news anchor from WLNS, gathered five women who were asked to gather at least 20 women willing to work hard at the beginning of a new build. Impressively and quite a commentary on the amazing women in our community, it was quite easy to get these very busy ladies to give up the majority of a day to participate in building a home for a family they don’t know. It was heartwarming to watch the dedication, camaraderie and pride in a job well done. Habitat for Humanity Lansing could still use your support. The house is under construction through the fall and continued volunteer work is necessary. Come and join the CAWLM team. We’re going to head back out to the site this summer. Or gather your friends and coworkers and reach out to habitatlansing.org for more details. You can find a date that works and make a true difference. It’s worth the effort … I assure you. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.