Building Better Communities One Dad at a Time – It Makes Sense!

The Good Dads staff hosted its second-annual fundraising dinner Thursday, Oct. 6, with music and entertainment to celebrate the last year of growth at the nonprofit. By the end of the fundraiser, Good Dads collected just over $100,000! The entire Good Dads team is filled with gratitude for the community’s generosity. Thank you for your support!

The photos in this gallery reflect a gathering of likeminded individuals who prioritize the importance of fathers to their children. All 300 of us (give or take) who sat in the ballroom at the Oasis Convention Center care about supporting engaged fatherhood, recognize dads as invaluable members of the family unit, and want to make Missouri a better place to live by encouraging, empowering and equipping dads with what they need to be the best parents they can be. 

Guests enjoyed music from bands Deja Crew and Caduceus, heard an inspiring story about fatherhood from John Widiger of Youngblood Auto Group, and celebrated Good Dads’ achievements from the last 12 months. If you couldn’t make it to the dinner this year, you really missed out! Be sure to mark your calendars for next fall so you can join us at the next fundraising event. 

While the Good Dads team has spent post-dinner days relieved the big event went smoothly, we are already thinking about our goals for 2023. We have a lot planned, so stick with us. 

We are thrilled to raise over $100,000 for Good Dads, but that’s just shy of our $120,000 goal. Want to support the cause? Head to our individual donation page here or our business partnership page here.

 Deja Crew members Brian Mattson (left, bass) and Amanda Clark (keyboard) preform on stage while guests arrive and mingle in the Oasis ballroom. 

 Local radio personality J Fotsch smiles at his table during a music performance. 

 Local radio personality J Fotsch (right) and Good Dads Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Baker begin the evening’s presentations with introductions on stage.

 Good Dads facilitator Ronnie Merritt offers the evening’s invocation on stage before dinner.

 A saxophonist in Caduceus – The Doctors Band wets his reed and prepares to perform on stage during dinner.

 Good Dads board member Lara Fors (front, center) and her guests pose for a photo in front of a backhoe in the ballroom. 

 John Widiger of Youngblood Automotive stands at the podium to give his story. Widiger’s own father wasn’t always a “Good Dad,” and Widiger said he struggled over the years to come into his role as an engaged father and provider for his kids. Youngblood is a Good Dads sponsor.

Founder and Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Baker relays Good Dads’ annual report to event guests. 

 The theme for this year’s fundraiser was “Building Better Communities One Dad at a Time.” 

 Board Director Jim Towery encourages donations for Good Dads to reach its fundraising goal of $120,000.

Guests listen and applaud Board Director Jim Towery’s words on the value of a donation to the nonprofit. 

  Good Dads Executive Assistants Pat Juncos (left) and Mary Magnus share a laugh over dinner. 


 Board member Robert Hawkins (left) and wife Kim cut a rug on the dance floor while Caduceus plays on stage. 

 A crowd gathers around the dance floor after dinner to mingle. 

 Drew Dilisio (right) and his wife Kathryne pose for a photo in front of sponsor signs near the ballroom. 

  From left to right, Dr. Jennifer Baker, husband Paul Baker, Caralyn Millsap, husband Jim Millsap, Linda Grayless, and husband Jeff Grayless enjoy dinner and music in the ballroom. 

  From left to right, Good Dads staff members Drew Dilisio, Lisa Strader, Nicholas Fang and Rhonda Andersen pose for a selfie in front of a backhoe at the conclusion of a successful evening.

About Author

Diana Dudenhoeffer is a multimedia journalist from Springfield, Missouri. She is a recent graduate of Missouri State University with a bachelors in Journalism. She started at Good Dads as an intern during undergrad, and now she works as the Good Dads Media Specialist, helping develop curricula, design products and create social media promos.