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