SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. -- When city housing authority officials saw an absence of fathers in many of the single-parent homes in South Pittsburg, they organized an event to help bring those families back together.
On Saturday, the South Pittsburg Housing Authority hosted its first Father's Day Celebration in the city's Hemlock area.
"We had a lot of fathers here with their sons and daughters just having a good time," Housing Authority Director Terry Case said. "We are going to make this an annual event on the Saturday before Father's Day, and it's just going to get bigger and better."
The celebration included bounce houses for kids and lots of food and games, and the city's volunteer fire department came by to spray some cool water on those attending on a hot June day.
Kristin and Doug Kilgore brought their two young children to the event, and both said it was a great time for their family.
Doug Kilgore described the celebration as "just awesome."
"These kids have had so much fun today," Kristin Kilgore said. "This is getting families together, but it's also bringing a lot of friends together that maybe haven't seen each other in a long time. It's been nice getting out here, having fun, and just forgetting about other things for a little while."
Several attendees asked Case why a similar event wasn't held on Mother's Day, too, and his answer was simple.
"Out of all of the single parents in our apartments, the vast majority of those are the mothers," he said. "They're doing their part, and we love them and appreciate them for that. But this is about trying to reconnect those fathers with their children. We've got to get them back in the game."
Case said the event was "extremely successful" and the goals for it were achieved.
"People are out here together laughing, eating and having a good time," he said. "If that's the case, then we reached our goal. We just wanted people to come out, have fun and be together."
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.