Dear Christina, Zach, Chloe, The Fluets, my closest friends and the entire Dads’ Night Community,
After living in the city and surrounding areas for so many years, one can say making the jump to the suburbs can be a very scary and stressful time in one’s life. For my family, having the opportunity to move to Ridgewood, was very different. From the moment we arrived, we found ourselves in an amazing community, surrounded by amazing people. From newcomers’ club, to the activities at Vets, Christina and I found ourselves meeting so many extraordinary people. The more people we met, the more we fell in love with this Village.
Fast Forward to January of 2015, and my first year of Dads’ Night. DN 71, Back to Dads’ Night. Standing in the gymnasium of Somerville, listening to Scott Orr and Chris McGrath go thru announcements, and hearing each skit pitched one by one, I was starting to come to the realization that this was something special. As a first-year member, my biggest decision that night was choosing my role as Penguin #2 in Frozen. Though I was only on stage for 5 minutes that year, the decision I made changed my life forever. The friendships, the late nights, and the memories will stay with me for the rest of my life. Performing on that stage for the first time, watching my children, watching all the children smile from cheek to cheek made it all worth it. It was at that moment, I knew this was more than an organization, this was a brotherhood that would do anything they could for their family, their friends, and their community.
The following year, I made it a point to get more involved, and eventually over the next few years, I was running cast parties, writing skits like the GREATEST SHOWMAN with Steve Ragains, participating in all events, and volunteering wherever I could lend a hand. While all these positions were fulfilling, it was not until I was the Ad Chair that I realized even more how much this organization does for the community and how much the community does for this organization. So, when Kevin Hogan asked me to take the realm for DN 77, I knew instantly the answer was Yes. (Of course, that was after I spoke to Christina for hours, and made sure she would understand the commitment)
It was early March 2020, why wouldn’t I accept the job? Life was great, Zach and Chloe were great, and other than the usual banter that goes on in my life, the world was my oyster. Fast Forward once again, this time only one week, and the world as we knew it changed forever. (wow, did I just write that)
I called Eric immediately on March 12th, and I simply said the world may be shutting down, but Dads’ Night is staying open for business. He simply responded “yes”, never was there even a doubt. What started as many phone calls, turned into zoom calls, eventually into social distancing get-togethers, we never gave up. Our goal was one, and it was simple. DN 77 will be AN EXCELLENT ADVENTURE. We may have to make changes, we will pivot, but we will never give up on that one thing, and that was to make those kids smile from cheek to cheek once again in 2021.
Eric, you have become a brother to me. Your wife Melissa, and your two young boys Connor and Austin, should be very proud of their amazing husband and father. If I had to do this all over again, there is no-one else I would want to stand next to me on that stage.
My closest friends, and you know who you are, I could not have done this without you guys. Picking the part of Penguin #2, might have been my smallest role, but by far the best, because I met all of you and the friendships we have made, make it all worthwhile. Dad’s, thank you for letting Eric and me lead this group this past year. We did our best to make you proud and keep this organization running.
Christina, you are the greatest thing that ever happened to me. You have stood by me for over 20 years, put up with my nervous humming and bad jokes, and I am a truly better person because of you. I love you with all my heart. Zach and Chloe, you inspire me to be a better person, a better man, and the best father every day. I love you more than you can imagine, more than you may ever know. When you are watching me up on that stage, understand there is so much more to this organization, and always keep smiling cheek to cheek.
Matt Rosen, DN 77 Somerville Chair