Father Of The Year Award Essay

LAKE FOREST It is, perhaps, a Father’s Day gift that Gary Aurin will remember for a lifetime.

Aurin left this week for New York to receive the 2017 “All-Star” Dad Award, handed out by the National Father’s Day Committee, Esquire and the Sani Family Foundation. The ceremony is Thursday, June 15.

He was chosen out of approximately 200 nominations, according to officials associated with the ceremony.

Aurin’s wife, Trina Klossing-Aurin, found out about the award and Brett Aurin, one of the couple’s twin boys, wrote an essay to the foundation for his dad, noting the work he puts in for him and his brother Kyle, who is on the autism spectrum.

The boys play in the Ladera Ranch Little League organization, which has a Challenger Division that suits Kyle’s needs.

In his essay, Brett praises his father’s patience with Kyle and highlights all the work he does with both of his boys both on the baseball field and with house and school work despite being in remission from a battle with cancer last year.

“I know from his cancer treatments he gets tired so much faster than he used to, but he does what he has to do in order for my brother Kyle to be successful at school and in the community,” Brett Aurin said in the essay.

He also highlighted his father’s willingness to take the boys out on Sundays to give his mom a break from taking them to school and Kyle’s therapies throughout the week. The essay included everything from Aurin’s patience in assisting with geometry and science homework, to making “the best veggie, bacon and grilled cheese sandwiches ever on the weekends.”

Aurin didn’t learn until recently that his son had written the essay.

“At first, it was just a little bit of shock. We didn’t even realize it was going on,” Aurin, 53, said. “With the first call, it didn’t connect. Then I got the email. Then to see it, it was a wonderful essay, I started to see how it was so good.”

The family has been excited about the prospect of traveling to New York for the ceremony.

“We’re going to New York! We’re going to New York!” Kyle has said every morning since his dad was named the award-winner on June 2, according to Aurin.

At the ceremony, Brett will have the opportunity to introduce his dad, who will then head up and accept the award. Aurin said Brett might be a tough act to follow, but having the entire family with him will make the moment much more special.

“That experience is something they’re going to remember as well,” Aurin said. “It wouldn’t be the same without them there.”

Aurin said the award was a surprise because he never viewed his role as a father and a baseball dad as anything more than ordinary.

“I see it as what I’m doing every day with my family and getting (my sons) to learn as much as they can,” he said. “You don’t see it from an outside perspective, you just see it as everyday things.”

The boys have played baseball since they were 3 years old.

Brett excelled quickly.

For Kyle, baseball is a way to work on social skills by interacting with other players. His father said his success in the sport has carried over into the classroom as well.

“Being able to cope with things and not getting frustrated,” Gary Aurin said of how baseball has helped Kyle most. “That’s translated to other things in school with homework. It also helps to get him out there and get some physical activity. Now he has a group of friends where he might not be so open for others.”

As the seasons have come and gone, Aurin said Kyle has become more independent on the field. At first, Aurin said, it was a process to keep him focused. Now Kyle can take the field and play on his own, while his dad cheers from the stands.

Because his two sons play in different leagues, Aurin is unable to provide more than the basics in terms of volunteer work for either league, but if he’s available to help put line chalk on the field, he’s more than willing to do so.

But his contributions clearly stand out in the family, as evidenced by his wife’s suggestion that the family nominate him for the award and Brett’s letter.

“It makes me feel so proud,” Aurin said. “I consider it more of the daily routine to spend each day doing what we can to help Kyle and to make sure Brett doesn’t get neglected. (The essay) went straight to my heart.”

About the Father of the Year Awards

The National Father’s Day Committee, an entity of the Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, each year confers Father of the Year Honors on contemporary lifestyle leaders of our culture whose lives are dedicated to family, citizenship, charity, civility, responsibility and reverence. The funds raised by our Annual Father of the Year Awards Presentation are directed to the support of worthwhile concerns affecting men, fathers, and families. The objective of our program is to enhance the meaning of Father’s Day and encourage universal observance.

YearNational Fathers of the Year
2017Marvin Ellison, Michael Strahan, "All-Star Dad" Gary Aurin
2016Vice President Joe Biden, Joe Namath, Jerry Storch, "All Star Dad" Christopher Irving
2015President George W. Bush, Morris Goldfarb, "All Star Dad" David Gonzales
2014Vince Camuto, Governor Chris Christie, Curtis Martin, Tony Spring, "All Star Dad" Robert Reid
2013President Bill Clinton, Terry J. Lundgren, "All Star Dad" Major Jackson Drumgoole II
2012Oscar Feldenkreis, Reynold Levy, Shaquille O'Neal, John Thain, "All Star Dad" Christopher Valerian
2011Jim Boheim, Geoffrey Canada, Brendan Hoffman, C. Joseph Rivers, Randall L. Stephenson, Amar'e Stoudemire, "All Star Dad" Robert Evans
2010Francis "Ken"Duane, Michael Fascitelli, David Gregory, Jorge Posada, Captain Scott M. Smiley, "All Star Dad" Andrew Correa
2009Al Unser, Sr., Jonathan M. Tisch, George Stephanopoulos, Mike "Coach K" Krzyzewski, General D. H. Petraeus, Ronald Wurtzburger, "All Star Dad" Robert Wunder
2008Randy Jackson, Ron Klein, Paul O'Neill, Mark Shriver, "All Star Dad" Murray N. Day
2007General George W. Casey, Jr., John Edwards, Tom Glavine, Hulk Hogan, Allen Sirkin, Harry Smith, Dwyane Wade, "All Star Dad" Laurence D. Whitcomb
2006Jack Klugman, Archie Manning, Michael Setola, Todd Smith (aka LL Cool J), General Michael W. Hagee, "All Star Dad" Darryl Webster
2005George Feldenkreis, Larry King, Donald Trump, "All Star Dad" Daniel Sullivan
2004Tommy Lasorda, Ellis Marsalis, General Richard B. Myers, Richard Petty, Isiah Thomas, Ashok Sani
2003Joseph Abboud, Patrick Ewing, Raymond W. Kelly, Lt. General James E. Sherrard III, Arnold "Woody" Woodall, Steve Young
2002 Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg, Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, David Falk, Sirio Maccioni, J. W. Marriott, Jr., Alonzo Mourning
2001Jim Fassel, George Forman, Howard Lutnick, Jacques Pepin, Andy Pettitte, Michael K. Powell, Russell Simmons
2000Bill Boggs, Paul R. Charron, "Smokin' Joe Frazier, Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Admiral Jay Johnson, Gerald McRaney
1999William Cohen, Mark Ewen, Michael Gould, Mike Jarvis, H. Carl McCall, Oscar Robertson
1998Andrew Cuomo, Jack Ford, James Kallstrom, Jim Kelly, Don Marron, General Henry H. Shelton, Earl Woods
1997Mario Andretti, Wolf Blitzer, Larry Doby, Henry Kravis, Frank Rich, Howard Safir
1996Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., John McEnroe, Steve Schreck, Brian Williams
1995William J. Bratton, Joseph McCarthy, MD., Karl Nelson, Tim Russert, George Pataki, Frederico Pena
1994Fred Barnes, David Checketts, Fred Epstein, MD., Boomer Esiason, Fernando Mateo, Thomas F. McLarty III, Harvey Weinstein
1993Nicholas Buoniconti, Dennis Byrd, Alfred W. DiTolla, Lou Dobbs, James M. Fox, Leslie Gelb, Gregory Hines, Dr. Erwin W. Martin, Chip Beck, House of Representative Charles Schumer
1992Peter Arnett, Bill Beutel, Marty Glickman, David A. Kessler, MD., Robert M. Morganthau, General Colin Powell, Freddie Roman, Harry Smith, Andrew J. Stein, Dennis Eckart
1991Lee P. Brown, Alan M. Dershowitz, Ira Joe Fisher, Walter A. Haas, Jr., Jeff Hostetler, General H. Norman Schwartzkopf, Samuel Skinner, Dr. Louis Sullivan, Phil Sokolof, Robert Abrams
1990Jack Cafferty, Bill Demby, Mayor David N. Dinkins, Skitch Henderson, Stu Jackson, Lee Mazzilli, Mandy Patinkin, Thomas R. Pickering, Taurean Blaque, Bernard Shaw
1989Senator Jeff Bingaman, Ron Darling, Malcolm Forbes, Stewart Klein, Bruce Morrow, Rick Pitino, Vice President J. Danforth Quayle, Bob Schieffer, Len Berman, Ernie Anastos
1988Arthur Ashe, Kris Kristofferson, Bill Mazer, Steven McDonald, Willie Randolph, Charles S. Robb, William Sessions, Chris Wallace
1987Marv Albert, William, E. Brock, Tom Clancy, Ossie Davis, Phil Esposito, Rudolph Giuliani, Reverend Harold B. Halcomb, Bob Ojeda, John Palmer
1986James Baker, Tim Gullikson, Tom Gullikson, Thomas H. Kean, Arthur Levitt, Jr., Lou Pinella, Maxwell M. Robb, Dennis Potvin, Rolland Smith, William H. Webster, Hubert Green, Ozzie Smith
1985Gary Carter, Mario Cuomo, Marvin Hagler, Bruce Jenner, Charles Osgood, Gabe Pressman, Ben Vereen, John Walsh
1984Senator Bill Bradley, Albert Gore and Albert Gore, Jr., Peter Jennings, Tommy John, Joseph Kramer, MD., Anthony Quinn, Willard Scott, Bryan Trottier, Paul Williams
1983James Brady, Benny Goodman, Roy M. Goodman, Bryant Gumbel, Bernard Hughes, Hal Linden, Kojo Odo, Joe Piscopo, Hugh Sidey, Tom Weiskopf
1982George Bamberger, John Y. Brown Jr., Hugh Downs, William Fox, John Gambling, Victor Kiam, Donald Regan, Chi Chi Rodriquez, Alan King
1981Robert W. DeBolt, Geoffrey Holder, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joseph Papp, Dan Rather, Kyle Rote, John Rubenstein, Richard Thomas, Richard A. Vande Sande, George Will, John Z. DeLorean, Tom Jones, L. Bruce Laingen, Samuel R. Pierce, Jr.
1980Bob "Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan, Irv Klein, Reverend Joseph Lowry, Robert MacKinnon, Michael Mullick, Alton Ochsner, MD., Bert Parks, Pete Rozelle, Murray Schisgal, Stan Smith, David "Sonny" Werblin, Robert Merrill, Itzhak Perlman, Sam Levenson
1979Sam Erwin, John D. Rockefeller IV, Chuck Scarborough, Robert Suthers, Joe Torre, Eli Wallach, Tom Wicker, Robert Wilson, Jack Kemp, Neil Sedaka
1978Tom Brokaw, Arthur Burns, Yul Brenner, Hugh L. Carey, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., Thurman Munson, Thomas O'Neill, William Safire, John Sirica, Eugene B. Spitz, MD., Dick Van Patten, Billy Talbert, Kurt Waldheim
1977James Broderick, John Chancellar, Benjamin Hooks, Leon Jaworski, John Newcombe, Roy White, Andrew Young, Dr. James R. Schlesinger, Albert Shanker
1976Brendan T. Byrne, John Cullum, Dave DeBusschere, Frank Field, Senator Edward Kennedy, Jesse Owens, Hughes Rudd, Luis Tiant
1975Kenneth A. Gibson, John W. Gardner, Jim Hartz, James "Catfish" Hunter, Ted Knight, Johnny Miller, Edmund Muskie, Neil Simon
1974Michael DeBakey, MD., Dom DeLuise, Christopher E. Edley, President Gerald Ford, Joel Grey, Frank McGee, Louis Nizer, Tom Seaver
1973Jack Albertson, Howard Cosell, Redd Foxx, Bob Griese, Julius LaRosa, Charles Percy, Monte Irvin, Capt. Howard Rutledge
1972I. W. Abel, Vice President Spiro Agnew, Ted Brown, Mike Douglas, Vernon E. Jordan, Doc Severinson, Roger Staubach
1971Henry Jackson, Jesse Jackson, Greg Morris, Howard K. Smith, Big Wilson, Brooks Robinson
1970Frank Borman, Joe Garagiola, Leon H. Sullivan, Bowie K. Kuhn, Jack Nicklaus
1969Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, Jerry Orbach, Fran Tarkenton, James L. Farmer, Dr. James E. Allen, Jr.
1968Burt Bacharach, Cab Calloway, Whitey Ford, Arthur J. Goldberg, Ed Nelson
1967Hershel Bernardi, Elston Howard, John Lindsay, Dick Van Dyke, James A. Farley, Irving Stone, Don Perkins
1966Eddie Albert, Tom Harman, Jacob Javits, Alan King, Fess Parker
1965Frank Blair, Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Gifford, Lorne Greene, Robert M. Hutchins, Jonathan Winters
1964Yogi Berra, Douglas Edwards, Bert Lahr, Jack Paar, Sargent Shriver, Art Buchwald, Charles W. Bailey, George Abbott, Harry Hershfield
1963Paul Ford, Chet Huntley, President John F. Kennedy, Don McNeil, Tom Tresh
1962Gene Fullmer, John Glenn, Jr., E. G. Marshall, Robert Morse, Meredith Wilson
1961Evan Hunter, Ralph Houk, Fred McMurray, Phil Silvers, Adlai Stevenson, Phil Rizzuto
1960Pat Boone, Ray Goulding, Cedric Hardwicke, Charlton Heston, Robert F. Kennedy, Johnny Unitas
1959Arthur Godfrey, Andy Griffith, Alfred M. Gruenther, Oscar Hammerstein, Richard Rogers, Bob Turley, Ed Wynn, Sam Levenson
1958Victor Borge, Walter Cronkite, Milton S. Eisenhower, Martin Mayer, Peter Ustinov, Harry Hershfield, Sugar Ray Robinson
1957Paul Douglas, Billy Graham, Mickey Mantle, Senator John L. McClellan, Mitch Miller, Ronald Reagan, Robert Weede, Ed Sullivan
1956Walter Alston, Bob Considine, Kirk Douglas, John O'Hara, Joseph N. Welch, Lawrence Welk
1955Don Ameche, Sid Caesar, George H. Combs, Alvin Dark, Danny Kay, Basil O'Connor, Jonas Salk, Merriman Smith
1954Chester Bowles, Paul G. Hoffman, Lloyd Nolan, Roy Rogers, Herb Shriner, Sam Snead, Lowell Thomas
1953Alben Barkley, John Daly, James W. Doolittle, Melvyn Douglas, Henry Cabot Lodge, Rockie Marciano, Ezio Pinza, Danny Thomas, Steve Allen, J. Fred Vollmer
1952Humphrey Bogart, Henry Fonda, H. V. Kaltenborn, David Sarnoff
1951Abe Burrows, Estes Kefauver, Phil Rizzuto, James Stewart, Eddie Cantor, Robert Alda, Skitch Henderson
1950Sidney Blackmar, William O. Douglas, Jean Hersholt, Kay Kayser, Jackie Robinson, Walter Winchell, Robert Young
1949Ralph Bunche, Alfred Drake, John Garfield, Connie Mack
1948Bob Feller, Horace Heidt, Van Wyck Mason, Drew Pearson, Gregory Peck, David Wayne, General Dwight Eisenhower
1947Warren Austin, Edgar Bergen, Babe Ruth
1946Irving Berlin, Al Schmid, Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle, Eddie Bracken, Guy Lombardo
1945Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Frederic March, President Harry S. Truman
1944Eddie Cantor, Mark Clark, Charles Coburn, Dudley Diggs, Dixie Walker
1943Ralph Bellamy, Parker Fennelly, Walter Huston, Mel Ott
1942Douglas MacArthur


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