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Dads’ Night 79 Chairmen Letter

This year marked a return to normalcy for Dads’ Night. After an outdoor show in May 2021, and a shortened season in 2021/22, we returned to a full 12-month calendar with our traditional events as well as some new ones. Our theme this year is “No Sleep Till Dads’ Night” and it’s a homage to this group of Dads who work tirelessly around the year to support our family, friends and community all culminating in this great show for the kids. We hope it is enjoyed by all!

We continued with our annual events such as softball, the Turkey drive, the Golf outing, mini-golf, the Butta Bowl, Skit Pitch night, New Dads night and numerous post-practice strategy sessions at local establishments who support Dads’ Night. This year marked a return of the Kick-Off party where the DN Band played and we also started a new tradition with a Cornhole tournament. Our primary goal is to raise funds to contribute to our schools and our community family and friends. We have made great progress this year raising funds as we welcome the largest New Dads class in recent history and continue to move all of our activity online, making it easier for all of our members, non-members and local businesses to contribute to Dads Night. These funds have contributed to upgrading Hawes playground as well as helping to provide an HVAC system in the Somerville gymnasium. We also help sponsor class events, guest speakers, high school scholarships in addition to providing sponsorship for many local community activities.

After 14 years, our beloved Hawes Principal, Dr. Sem decided to set sail into the sunset, it might have been DN 78 that put him over the edge... just saying. His retirement party was epic. We brought Hawes Nation to a New Jersey Jackels game at Yogi Berra Stadium. What can we say other than it was the perfect day at the ballpark, complete with Dr. Sem on the mound to throw out the first pitch. Dads’ Night presented him with an engraved bat, naming him as an honorary “Grad Principal.” A title only fitting for a principal who loved being in our skits and playing his sax with the Dads’ Night band!

And although we were a bit anxious as to who would be named Dr. Sem’s successor, we were able to take a big sigh of relief knowing it was BF’s own Ms. Stovell who would be up for the task. It has been great getting to know Ms. Stovell, and I’m pretty sure Dads’ Night has another fan for life!

Dads’ Night and the greater Ridgewood community experienced a great loss this year with the passing of Dr. Sheeraz Iqbal (Hawes Chairman 75). While a lot has been written and spoken about Sheeraz’s impact on so many of us in Dads Night and beyond, we were devastated by his passing and look forward to supporting the Iqbal family for many years to come to honor Sheeraz’s legacy. To that end, please join us on March 25, 2023 at 10 am for the first annual Doc Walk as we celebrate his life. The event will take place at Ridgewood Duck Pond on Ridgewood Ave and we will walk the Saddle River trail for approximately 3 miles round trip. At the conclusion of the walk, stick around for live music from the Dads' Night band and enjoy some food available from Empanada Lady, Kimchi Smoke, and Ben & Jerry's.

We also lost a Dads Night legend in Lou Lembo Sr., who was the Dads Night Chairman in 1987 and 1988. In Mike and Lou’s words, “those who know our father know that Dads’ Night is in his DNA. Our father grew up in Ridgewood and dedicated his life to this Village, especially Dads’ Night. He met lifelong friends throughout his tenure at Dads’ Night, and those friendships still remain. As young children, we memorized the Dads’ Night theme, as we always heard it being sung. His proudest Dads’ Night moment, however, was Dads’ Night 77, when he was able to see three more Lembos come together and act like fools, all in the name of charity for our kids. As kids, we thought it was fun to see our dad be a care bear, ghostbuster, lounge singer, wrestler, and countless other roles. We later learned that we gained so much more; we built friendships with the other kids, we loved our community, and we idolized our dads for giving up their time to act like fools just to make us laugh. It was the example that he and all of you set that makes Dads’ Night all worth it.” This summed up perfectly the impact this organization can have and we are proud to carry on the tradition passed on from Lou and so many others.

Dads’ Night is central to the community, but we would not be able to put on the show without the support of the community. We are blessed to be supported numerous sponsors and organizations. Please take a moment to flip though the ads in this program. If the occasion arises, please support those who support us.

To our principals, teachers and staff at Hawes and Somerville, as well as the Board of Education: thank you for your unending support of Dads’ Night! We appreciate everything you do for our kids.

To our cabinet, thank you for making us look good. Seeing your dedication to this organization is inspiring and this all happens because of the extra time and effort you give.

To our fellow Dads, the most important title a man can achieve is that of “dad”. Anyone can be a father; it takes someone special to be called dad. For you New Dads, we are so thrilled to have you here and its you who will someday take and pass on the torch. We hope you have built friendships and created memories that will last a lifetime. For the Grad Dads, Bravo! We hope this experience had a meaningful impact on you and your family.

To the Moms, thank you for lending us your husbands and putting up with this, but its not like we are going to Disney world without you or anything. Oh…wait… But seriously, we can’t do this without you and can’t thank you enough.

To the kids, this is all for you. The pinnacle of this experience is seeing your face when we perform. We would do anything for you, even wear these crazy costumes and put on this show to make you smile and laugh.

We are honored and humbled to have served as Chairmen for Dads’ Night 79. This has been one of the most memorable experiences of our lives and we will look back on it fondly forever.

Yours in Family, Friends, and Community,

Dave Allen and Chris Powers

Dads’ Night 79 Co-Chairmen

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