While Father’s Day is a day reserved for all dads, today one special dad was recognized.
While Sunday is the official day to celebrate all dads, the Biloxi Lions Club honored their 2020 Father of the Year, Richard Wayne Ross Jr., at a luncheon Wednesday. Ross, a lion himself, was supposed to be the chair of the Father of the Year event until he was nominated, a complete surprise for Ross. “I thought we were canceling it and come to find out they had been selected already. So it was a shock.”
The Father of the Year award is named after the first recipient in 1999, Marc Barhanovich. Ross became the 21st father to receive the award. “Oh, it’s a wonderful honor. I mean, to be included in this group of men that’s come before me is just nothing short of amazing.”
Ross was nominated for the honor by his eldest daughter, Charlotte. When asked why she nominated her father, Charlotte replied that he’s a great girl-dad, whether that means working security at her dance recitals or never missing a dance competition. “He supports us all the time. He brings us to dance, before I could drive obviously. He’s just such a great man to us and to my mom and everything.”
A father of two girls, Ross has embraced his ‘girl dad’ role. “I really got into their dance life, traveling with them, making recitals, working on props. It really shocked me that I was going to enjoy it as much as I did.”
The Lions Club of Biloxi is already looking for nominees for next year’s Father of the Year. Applications are available at biloxilions.org.