- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Dads being good role models may soon receive an early Father’s Day gift.

During the weekend of June 7-8, jazz musician Dave Koz will be participating in the “Golden Dads” campaign, a joint effort sponsored by the National Fatherhood Initiative, Rendezvous Entertainment and Warner Bros. to promote responsible fatherhood.

Representatives of the organizations will scour the zoos, parks and libraries of Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Washington in search of fathers who are positively interacting with their children.

“We’re looking for dads that are doing everyday acts of kindness towards their kids,” Mr. Koz said.

One-hundred fathers will be selected in each city. They will receive a copy of the Rendezvous Entertainment CD “Golden Slumbers: A Father’s Lullaby,” NFI’s “10 Ways to be a Better Dad” brochure, a coupon for a free Auntie Anne pretzel and a button declaring “I’m a Golden Dad,” designed by Milton Glaser, who created the famous “I Love NY” logo with the red heart.

Perhaps an unusual combination for a fatherhood campaign, the three organizations were driven by interests to promote responsible fatherhood as well as the “Golden Slumbers” disc.

The NFI initially approached Mr. Koz and his brother and fellow musician, Jeff, to give them a fatherhood award for their involvement in producing “Golden Slumbers.”

“My initial response was, ‘You’re giving me an award? I’m not a father, not that I know of,’” Mr. Koz said.

The NFI appreciated the album, and a partnership was born.

“We got together on a campaign to encourage and support fathers and recognize them in the culture,” NFI President Roland C. Warren said.

But responsible citizenship at times is not driven purely by altruism. Although executive vice president of Warner Bros. Jazz Matt Pierson tells of his ready support for the cause, he also acknowledges capitalism’s role in the level of interest shown by Warner Bros., who will be donating the CDs.

“We were trying to market [the CD] in different ways,” Mr. Pierson said. “Not do the same old, same old.”

The album, a collaboration among noted jazz artists such as John Stoddart, David Benoit, Bruce Watson and Rick Braun, came about when the Koz brothers recorded some lullaby music for Jeff’s firstborn at the request of his wife.

The Koz brothers recorded two songs, at first intended for private use, and realized they were on to something, Mr. Koz said. Consequently, the pair approached several musician friends, many of whom were also new fathers, about a lullaby jazz CD.

“Traditionally, moms have been the primary nurturer, but now that is changing, and dads are taking a more active role,” Mr. Koz said. “This CD reflects that and celebrates that.”

“The most important thing on our end was trying to inspire and encourage fathers.” Mr. Warren said.

According to 2000 Census Bureau statistics, one out of every three children in America grow up in households without their fathers. This campaign wishes to celebrate those fathers who do take an active role in their children’s lives.

“Two out of three kids grow up with their dads — and we want to celebrate that and serve as a connection maybe for fathers who aren’t as involved,” Mr. Warren said.

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