Dads Make a Difference Day celebrated in Springfield

Event calls attention to importance of fatherhood in children's lives

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Friday was “Dads Make a Difference Day” in Springfield, a pre-Fathers’ Day salute to the role fathers play in their children’s lives.

On the Saturday before Fathers’ Day for the past 19 years, families have marched down State Street, either to City Hall or Magazine Park, to honor student essays celebrating the role of fatherhood. Instead, this year on Friday, Mayor Domenic Sarno hosted a “Dads Make a Difference Day” observance at City Hall.

“Not only in name, not only monetarily, but emotionally- support and guidance and leadership,” Sarno said.

Many who have participated in this tradition of bringing families together during the long-running Fathers’ Day Weekend march joined the mayor during his proclamation.

“It means a great deal to me to be a father. The role I play in the Dads Make a Difference for 19 years has celebrated fatherhood in Springfield,” Kevin Green of Springfield said.

You don’t have to be a dad to celebrate fatherhood, however. Nicole Blais is one of the many moms who lend their support.

“We are working very hard each year, to help bring awareness of responsible fatherhood and how much dads are needed in the life of their kids,” Blais said.
Saturday’s 20th anniversary Dads Make a Difference march was cancelled, because many of the days will participate in a city-wide anti-violence walk on Saturday morning.