Saturday, December 13, 2014

Two Montco fathers honored by coalition

FORT WASHINGTON The Philadelphia-based Maternity Care Coalition has chosen two Montgomery County men to receive its 2014 Driving Fatherhood Awards.

The honorees are Josh Shapiro, chairman of the county commissioners, and Gary Strimple, a Pottstown father and volunteer.

Shapiro, in his role as commissioner and previously as a state representative, "has made it his top priority to protect Montgomery County families," the coalition said. It cited, among other things, his support for breast-feeding, early childhood education, and a ban on texting while driving.

Shapiro is a father of four.

Strimple joined the coalition's Early Head Start program last year to get support as a single father of a 2-year-old girl. He soon joined the Male Involvement Initiative and the School Readiness Task Force, and became an active Head Start volunteer, the coalition said.

"Hands down, his was a name that flew out when we talked about" nominations, said Jackie Tarr, an Early Head Start advocate. "He's always there. He's always at parent meetings . . . anything you need help with."

Before joining the group, Strimple said, "I used to be quiet and angry and frustrated. But I'm not anymore. Dracyin's doing real good."

Both men will be honored Monday night in a dinner at the Manufacturers' Golf and Country Club in Fort Washington. - Jessica Parks

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