'Real Men Cook' brings out famlies on Father's Day

June 19, 2011 (CHICAGO)

While some fathers took it easy with the family, others spent the cooking

On every Father's Day for the past 22 years, fathers have been bringing their fathers and their sons to the "Real Men Cook" event on the South Side. All proceeds from "Real Men Cook" go to charity.

At the event, you could take your pick from ribs, sausage, chicken and a choice of any sauce. All of it was cooked by dads.

"It's one thing for fathers to sit home and wait for the presents to come to us. But we, as real men, like to come out and be a present to everybody else. And that's what 'Real Men Cook' is all about. We get a smile from serving," event participant Don Rose.

The "Real Men Cook" event is sponsored by Real Men Charities, an organization that promotes responsible fatherhood. For many, it is a multigenerational tradition.

"This is my son. He is right by my side today. We always enjoy Father's Day together. Regardless of the weather or whatever -- we are always together on Father's Day," said event participant Mark Ricks.

"This is going to be a memory that you look back at in 20 years, at pictures and being able to talk about it. It will be one of those old family stories," said event participant Rick Mays.

"My father has been like a role model to me. He is an entrepreneur. I strive to be an entrepreneur. I want to teach my children the same thing," said event participant Julius Mays.

Fatherhood and food was also the center of attention at Brookfield Zoo Sunday where dads were treated to all-you-can-eat barbecue. Church was also a place where fathers and role models were honored. After church, many headed to Chicago State University for the "Real Men Cook" event, where Father's Day was in full swing.

"It's not as recognized as Mother's Day because a lot of fathers are not recognized," said event participant Jonnisha Lindsey. "You got good fathers out here, you know, so I think it is just as important as any other holiday."

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