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Annual cookout helps support kids

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Rhyon Sessoms, 10, center, leaps to pop bubbles as Ron Green, top left, the chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tar River Region, swings a bubble wand Saturday during the Real Men Kook for Kids event at Sunset Park.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Monday, June 17, 2019

Local dads for a day gave dozens of local kids an experience to remember Saturday as they participated in the sixth annual "Real Men Kook for Kids" event at Sunset Park.

The men not only held a cookout for roughly 60 kids ages 5 to 18, they also played games ranging from corn hole competitions to three-legged races before the kids went off to enjoy the Spray Park at Sunset Park.

"This is an opportunity for positive men to spent meaningful time with these kids," said Ron Green, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tar River Region. "And lots of kids don't have the opportunity to spend Father's Day with a male role model, so this gives them that opportunity. Some of the men here today are fathers and some are not, but they are spending time with these kids and that is important."

The event is sponsored each year by the Rocky Mount Alumni Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs and Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation.

As part of the event, the fraternity also sponsors a sausage cook-off. This year, four teams entered the event.

"One of the best ways I have found to get more men involved is to offer a competition," Green said.

The team led by Frenchy Davis won the competition for the second year in a row. Davis is the owner of Foundation Builders Academy day care.

"I am here to support the efforts of the Boys & Girls Club," Davis said. "I grew up in the Boys & Girls Club and I used to work there, so I know how important it is to connect to these kids."

Donnell Brown, polemarch of the local chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, said events like Kook for Kids are important.

"This helps change the narrative in society that there are no good black fathers," Brown said. "There are great dads in the black community, and some dads just need role models to help them get to that point."

Brown said the organization also does other work to support youth in the community, including offering scholarships and supporting local school athletes through awards programs.

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