On Father’s Day, A Special Group of Men Say: No More Violence

While many dads receive ties and gadgets on Father’s Day, a dynamic group of more than 1,800 men -- including major business leaders, politicians, professional athletes, coaches and others -- are giving back to their families and communities by sending a powerful message about what it means to be a father and a positive role model.

Since 2003, each year men from all walks of life have joined the ranks of the Family Violence Prevention Fund’s Founding Fathers – men who use Father’s Day to stand for respect and help stop violence against women and children. This year welcomes baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays; NFL star Amani Toomer; Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber; Maine Governor John E. Baldacci; San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Mike Nolan; Verizon President and COO Denny Strigl; and Macy’s Chairman, President and CEO Terry Lundgren; among others. They and others are featured in a Father’s Day advertisement in the New York Times.

"I am so proud to chair the Founding Fathers campaign because it reminds us that we can all help stop violence – in our families, our communities, and our world," said Founding Fathers Honorary Chairman Ted Waitt. "When we empower a young man to speak out against violence, we help him become an example for others and start a chain of positive action that can extend indefinitely."

The Family Violence Prevention Fund will expand the effort to a bigger "respect" project in 2008. It will encourage people to give respect to others and teach respect to young people, both through words and by example.

"We are proud and inspired by our Founding Fathers who have shown courageous leadership," said Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler. "In 2008, we hope more companies will lead the way with a new project that calls upon all adults – parents, teachers, coaches, and other mentors to both boys and girls – to embrace the powerful effect of giving someone else in your life the gift of respect."

Learn more about the Founding Fathers here. View the New York Times advertisement here.

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