Dadmissions: Dads I Admire

On this Father’s Day weekend I started to think about the many dads I’ve met over the years. Is it possible sometimes the dads you admire most aren’t even your own… There’s a difference between a father and a dad. Here are just a few examples of the dads I admire whether they know it or not…

Brad MacDonald’s dad: Sharon, MA

I’m not sure Brad or his dad ever realized it, but for a few years of my childhood, his father was my surrogate dad on weekends. I adopted him and he didn’t even know it. My father had encouraged me to play basketball. He encouraged me to toughen up and play Pop Warner football. But he couldn’t be bothered to attend those games. In fact, I think he was entirely absent for 95% of those games or more. My father was a father.. not so much a dad. It was Brad MacDonald’s dad who took me to most every game. He just stepped up and volunteered. It was Brad MacDonald’s dad who encouraged me as a coach in basketball and then as a parent in Pop Warner Football. Brad and I weren’t best friends. He was an athlete. I was a guy just trying to shoot hoops or make a tackle. I can’t imagine what Brad must’ve thought being paired up with me nearly every week for a carpool to a game that my dad wasn’t going to be at. I can’t imagine what his dad thought. But his dad did it with a smile… never complaining or let me know anything was different. I’m sure he knew our family situation was challenging to say the least. Mr. MacDonald stepped up without needing to. I’m thankful to Brad MacDonald’s dad.

Oren Miller: Owings Mills, MD

When I first started blogging as Dadmissions, I got an email in my inbox one day. It was from a guy named Oren Miller encouraging me to join this dad bloggers network he had started. We exchanged emails and I continued blogging. It took me months to figure out where to find them online and how to hit the join button. When I did, there was Oren right back with a sarcastic email saying “It’s about time”. He has fostered a dad bloggers network of more than 800 dads across the world. We all come from different backgrounds and have different stories but he is the role model to all of us. Recently, Oren received devastating medical news that will change his family forever. It is our turn to rally around Oren. I’ve told him on several occasions that his legacy is secure. I hope he realizes that and believes it. I am writing about a guy I’ve never met in person but who has had a deep effect on my life the past couple of years. I wish him the very best. (find him at and more info at )

Steve Mauldin: Studio City, CA

Steve is the President and General Manager of the television stations I work at KCBS KCAL. When he first came to LA we were told about something very cool he had established in several other big cities. Stephanie’s Day is named after his daughter. It is a special day for special families. Stephanie’s Day is a
resource fair for children with autism and other special needs, a day for families to go some place where they can get critical information on community services, a place where they can have fun and not be judged. It is a day for smiles for very deserving children. Stephanie’s Day has gone from Miami, to Dallas, and now to Los Angeles. Stephanie has grown into a pretty incredible young woman herself. Stephanie’s Day is a testament to the love Steve and his wife have for their daughter. It’s pretty cool to see a dad having this type of impact on the community. (Find out more: )

Army Spec. William Gilbert: South Pasadena, CA

Army specialist Gilbert died in Afghanistan just eight days before his daughter was born in my town. I’m told his newborn Mikala was by his casket as he arrived back to the community he loved. For his courage and his sacrifice and the lessons he surely left for his daughter, I admire him on this Father’s Day.

Who are the dads that have inspired YOU… find me on Facebook at DadmissionsTheBook


About Pete Wilgoren

Author of Dadmissions. Pete Wilgoren is an Emmy winning journalist, blogger, and author writing about parenthood, life, and other stuff
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3 Responses to Dadmissions: Dads I Admire

  1. Thank you for including me among these great people!

  2. Pingback: Oren Miller: Champion of Fatherhood and Cancer Fighter « OneGoodDad

  3. Pingback: Help a Dad Blogger Battling Cancer – For Oren Miller

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