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Father of the Year — 2014

Last Friday, James Lewis drove from Rogers, Arkansas to Greenwood to help his mother-in-law move some furniture. He parked on the Square, got out of his Chevy pick-up and followed his daughter, Jacinda, toward the pavilion. He was a little confused. From his point of view, all he could see was a group standing there staring at him and clapping.

Lewis was in Greenwood all the time, but had never heard of the new Father of the Year contest. His daughter saw a registration form in Yeager’s one weekend and almost threw it away. After all, her dad wasn’t a Democrat and the form did say, “Greenwood Democrat Father of the Year.”

It was a good thing for James that she didn’t. Her letter about “My Amazing Dad” earned a title and a cooler full of gifts that left the man she looks up to humbled and speechless.

Rowe Chiropractic donated a bottle of Biofreeze and a T-shirt. Farmers Bank pitched in a Visa gift card while Fantastic Sams matched with a gift certificate to their Greenwood store. Bishop Family Dentistry added a custom fitted Bleach Tray. Phil Hicks at Shelter Insurance donated a water bottle, a T-shirt, a mug and a set of golf balls. Walmart pitched in with a store gift card and The Warehouse added another gift card. Arvest provided a Visa gift card and Greenwood’s Mayor, Doug Kinslow added a tactical flashlight. Greenwood Garage Door provided a meal with an Outback gift card and Walgreens donated a gift card of their own. CenturyLink provided a Leatherman tool and Amy’s Attic added a carved wooden duck along with a western wall plaque. Vintage Vase provided a plant arrangement and balloons and the South Sebastian Boys & Girls Club added a year-long gate pass to the club’s games. Graham Optical provided free glasses and Yeager’s Ace Hardware added a gift card. Eastside Convenience purchased a tactical light and knife and Vache Grasse Country Club added a golfing package. The Greenwood Democrat provided a one year subscription, a fishing net, a cooler and an engraved Barbecue Set in an aluminum case. The engraving proclaimed the owner as the 2014 Greenwood Democrat Father of the Year.

James Lewis didn’t get a chance to do much shopping, but he did go to Yeager’s Ace Hardware before taking his family out to Carrabbas in Rogers on the Outback gift card.

“He was so cute going through the cooler with our daughter, Jacinda,” James’ wife April said. “They kept digging and opening envelopes. He gave her the Fantastic Sams gift certificate so she can get her hair cut next time we come down. He even caught the kids in the fishing net.”

Several of his friends and family weren’t surprised at all with the award. “There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for them kids,” his friend Wayne Irelan said. James’ dad even added, “I think he’s a good dad and provider. He takes care of his kids very well. They come before everything else. He is involved in his kids activities like helping Jacinda sell her Girl Scout cookies or helping judge at her karate tournaments.”

Rex Montgomery, his father-in-law here in Greenwood, has been proud of James from the beginning. “A person is measured by how he is seen by others and his interactions with those around him,” he explained. “James as a father not only has close interactions with his children, but also portrays it to other kids that he interacts with in patience and doing many timely things with them. Kids need quality special time and James exemplifies this.”

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