The 20th National Parents’ Day was celebrated Sunday, with local events held around the nation to honor numerous people who have shown excellence in parenting, said organizers.
The federal holiday to honor parents on the fourth Sunday of July was established in 1994 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton.
Since then, hundreds of parents have been celebrated for overcoming obstacles and trials to ensure the best possible care of their children and their communities.
The 20th anniversary of the commemorative holiday shows that “a sense of the importance of the family is alive and growing,” said Tom Cutts, spokesman for the National Parents’ Day Committee and national executive director of the American Clergy Leadership Conference.
Among the finalists for this year’s national award are the Rev. Willie and Sherion Weston of Chicago, who have raised seven children, including four with mental challenges whom they adopted, as well as being active evangelists in their community.
Another pair of finalists are Todd and Windsor Bauders of Media, Pennsylvania, who are raising four children, including one with special needs. Mrs. Bauders — who became pregnant twice as a teen and placed one child for adoption and raised another as a single mother — is the granddaughter of the Rev. Billy Graham. Today she speaks candidly about her parenting experiences in addition to being related to the most famous Protestant religious leader in the world.
A Capitol Hill reception to honor the parents is being planned, said Mr. Cutts.
Other National Parents’ Day finalists include Rev. Samuel E. Fisher and Patricia Fisher of Richmond; Sammy and Connie Samson of Shoreline, Washington; Rev. Dr. Robert and Lola Waterman of Brooklyn, New York; Bishop Franklin and Larissa Fountain of Bridgeport, Connecticut; Phil and Nicole Larsen of Apex, North Carolina; Douglass and Stephanie Mann of Orinda, California; and Rev. Donald and Juanita Mims of Houston.
The coalition of groups supporting Parents’ Day continues to grow, with the National Organization for Marriage joining the effort this year.
The Parents of the Year National Selection Committee includes Georgia State Sen. Donzella J. James; Archbishop George Augustus Stallings Jr., founder and prelate of the Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregation; Archbishop Angelo Rosario of Church of God’s Children, Bronx, New York; Ricardo de Sena, president of Universal Peace Federation USA; the Rev. Samuel Mosteller, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Georgia; the Rev. Luonne and Marie Rouse of Huntington United Methodist Church in Huntington, New York; Thomas P. McDevitt, chairman of The Washington Times; and Angelika Selle, president of the Women’s Federation for World Peace USA.