By Brad Holdhusen, CEO/Board Member/Chapter Chair for Father’s Club


What do you do with that pre-Super Bowl excitement one week prior to the big game? Well, let me tell you what about 40 intentional dads / leaders from all over the KC Metro did.

On Sunday evening February 5th, Chapter Chairs and Steering Committee members from over 25 Father’s Club chapters in both Kansas and Missouri gathered to plow through some GREAT BBQ – compliments Brobeck’s Barbeque!

Brobeck's BBQ

While wiping the BBQ sauce from their mouths, they listened to Todd Milner, Director of Campus Developement, lead the charge as he emceed an evening of thoughtful ideas, best practices and Chapter Chair testimonials around the impact Father’s Club is having in their respective high schools.

Brobeck's BBQMiddle Schools!

One of the highlights of the evening was welcoming NEW Chapter Chair leaders from three new middle schools in Olathe as Father’s Club has intentionally expanded beyond just high schools.

Special compliments to Olathe South’s originating Chapter Chair, Dave Miller.
Dave championed and started pushing for expansion into middle schools nearly 4 years ago.

Mental Health First Aid

Another exciting part of the evening… An announcement that Father’s Club is committed to impacting and/or training 1,000 dads in Mental Health First Aid through the means of nationally-certified MHFA trainers. In fact, the next class will take place Saturday, March 4th at the Blue Valley Hilltop Conference Center.

This goal to train/impact 1,000 dads will not just be limited to classroom/certified training, but will encompass other unique events championed by The Father’s Club. (More to come on that as details come together.)

Chapter Leads & Barbecue Beans Chapter Leads & Barbecue Beans

As the night drew to an end, and the paper plates landed in the trash, the majority of the men stuck around sharing more ideas. They were feeding off the passion fueled by the Father’s Club Mission Statement and the reason these men volunteer their time.

“To be humble and loving catalysts for change within their communities, schools and families.”

By David Walker

Santa Fe Trail Middle School InauguralThe Santa Fe Trail Middle School Chapter of the Father’s Club recently held their first official event with a New Year Fist Bumps for Food! Dad’s came out to welcome students back to school with chicken biscuits from Chick-Fil-A Olathe, donuts from Olathe Hyvee and smiles from some lucky dads.

The students were appropriately apprehensive about taking free food from strangers, but they eventually warmed up to us. Most of them were half asleep but we wished them a great 2023 and a full belly to start the day off right. Teachers were thankful and happy to see us in the building. (And even happier to see a few extras in the teachers lounge!)

We look forward to our next visit and hope to get a few more fist bumps the next time we’re in the building! All in all, we turned a lot of droopy eyes into bright faces. Special shout out to Principal Libal and Vice Principal Reyes for helping us pull it off!

Santa Fe Trail Middle School Inaugural Santa Fe Trail Middle School Inaugural Santa Fe Trail Middle School Inaugural

Bathroom MirrorBy Dan Viall, Blue Valley West Dad

As a dad of two teenage girls (8th and 5th graders), I’m always looking for fun ways to connect with them individually. My oldest is wired a lot like me (sorry mom!) so it’s pretty easy for me to connect with her and find fun and meaningful things for us to do together. She’s curious, driven, talkative, opinionated, and was fortunate enough to find her two big passions (martial arts and entrepreneurship) at an early age.

My youngest, however, is my mystery child. She’s introverted, imaginative, empathetic, and free-spirited, so what she likes today may not be what she’s into tomorrow. So it’s always been a bit harder for me to find meaningful ways to connect with her 1:1. And because she’s more reserved, I’m never quite sure if our time together is truly resonating with her.

In the summer of 2021, I started connecting with more business guys locally for work and kept hearing about this thing called Father’s Club. After what seemed like the 5th or 6th quality dad including Dave Swob, John Hinman, Grady Hawley and others told me I should get involved, I signed up to start doing stuff with Clay Norkey’s group of awesome Blue Valley West dads.

Football Concession Stand!

While we do all the other Father’s Club stuff like happy hours and Fist Bumps for Food, our group of BV West dads also gets to handle all concessions for every home football game. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, so the first game I just signed up myself. When I got there, I saw an awesome group of quality dads jamming to classic rock, serving with their own kids, high-fiving their kids’ friends at the window, slingshotting hotdogs into the student section, giving free coffee to the security team and just having a great time connecting with each other and the steady stream of kids, parents, and staff.

Bathroom Mirror Bathroom Mirror

So the next game I invited my youngest to come serve with us, and before we had even left the stadium that first night she was talking non-stop about “Crazy Tim” and “Mr. Tony” and asked if we could do it again soon. She likes to mix it up each game, but her favorite role is the commercial popcorn station (a never-ending job!) When Danny Mayer loudly proclaimed her the “Popcorn Queen” the last game of the season, two huge dimples and a giant smile came out.

The Note on the Mirror…

The next morning, I got up, and found this note on my bathroom mirror… “I like doing concessions with you!”

So thank you to Clay, Kevin, Mr. Tony, Danny, Crazy Tim, Todd, Jaye and so many others for helping me create a fun and simple way to connect with my daughter, meet a great group of guys, and give back to our community. If you’re still sitting on the sidelines, come out and get in the game with us!

Bathroom Mirror Bathroom Mirror

By Andrew Kneisler, Blue Valley Southwest High School Chapter Co-Chair

A Father and a FencepostDuring a recent men’s retreat with a dozen men, I spent some quality time around a campfire sharing. I could hear fish flipping in the background, as I shared my story about my life with other fathers. The analogy that kept coming up was an image of a fence line marked by “fenceposts”. These symbolic fenceposts included people, events and places that held me and directed my life — making me into the man I am today. Looking back on each fencepost I noticed how faith was tying the fenceposts together to shore up all these moments and to bring me to where I am today. 

I was honored to be known by these men, as we took turns sharing each independently about our own fencepost stories. I was excited and comforted to hear each man highlight their own father in their fencepost stories. Whether good or bad, “my dad…” was a consistent theme as men shared their stories that night. 

My dad passed away in 2019. His lasting effects are still impacting the way I live today, as a father to my four kids and as a person in relationship with those kids — Some good and some bad.   

The Enabler

I rarely wished I had a different dad, but I did at times become angry that he didn’t act differently. What I have discovered is that my dad was the classic “enabler”. In my teenage years, my mom was a severe alcoholic and her behavior was supported, re-enforced and allowed by my dad. That is why in the world of addiction, my dad’s behavior is called “enabling”. As a child, I saw it as loving and learned a version of what I thought is “love”. Today, I’m still affected by this “Dad’s perspective” and it continues to spread as it affects my relationships.

It affects all relationships, even the way I parent. Although I stopped my drinking in 2003, I thought I killed the disease, but the enabling continued to transcend into my behaviors, because it was what my dad had modeled for me.

I didn’t get to choose the father I have nor sometimes be the father I want to be. 

A Father and a FencepostI have found that being surrounded by men with similar failures and victories from their own fathers, coupled with sharing how those experiences impact our lives today, makes me want to father my kids differently.

My involvement with Father’s Club is an attempt to get involved in the lives of my kids and surround myself with other men who can help impact my kids in a greater way than I can on my own. Through doing so, I’ve experienced not just a great impact on my kids, but a great impact on my own life. My hope is that I can give back what this organization has given me.

I believe it’s easier for dads to live a life of quiet isolation and feel temporarily “safe” from having their weaknesses exposed. Instead, I’ve found living a life of integration with other like-minded men can help hold together “those moments” and help make a life worth living

And maybe… just maybe, these fathers can be “a fencepost” in my kids’ stories someday.

A Father and a Fencepost

Fist Bumps 4 Food Training CampOver the years, The Father’s Club has welcomed students at several high schools with food and a word of encouragement. It has become a flagship activity for us at our local high schools. We’ve given this event several names over the years. We have finally landed on Fist Bumps 4 Food (FB4F).

With so many new dads getting engaged with The Father’s Club, we want to take a moment and provide a training video for Dads so they’re properly prepared the next time they participate in a FB4F. We’re confident this video will properly prepare Dads for future FB4F events.

The Father’s Club

Vince StephensIn the summer of 2018, a normal everyday dad had a longing in his soul. His imagination began to churn with various ideas. He felt called to reach out to another man. A man he had never met. With tremendous courage, he opened his heart and shared his vision and passion for doing more for his own kid and the kids he hung out with at high school.

A few weeks later, a group of eight men gathered. Once again, he courageously shared his heart with a group of men he hardly knew. Every man gathered was moved. Every man shared their own story. In that moment, every dad around the table was vulnerable, sharing similar struggles, desiring to be fully known and fully loved.

The Birth of The Father’s Club

It was on that warm August night, around a table of dads who did not know each other very well, that the Father’s Club was born.

We take a brief moment to celebrate and thank Vince Stephens. If it was not for his courageous and humble spirit, the Father’s Club would not be impacting 18 high schools, over 1,400 dads, thousands of kids, and numerous communities.

On March 25th, Vince celebrated his 60th Birthday. Vince has no desire to be recognized. He is just a dad struggling to find his way. We want to thank Vince for his passion and vision for creating simple ways for dads to be intentional with each other, kids and the communities we are called to serve. Vince, you are one heck of a good looking 60 year old man. We love you brother.

– The Father’s Club

By Todd Milner, Board Member/Director of Campus Development for Father’s Club

There are so many fathers with so many chapters that we know there are a ton of stories to be shared. In this video, Todd Milner walks through the simple process of recording a 60 second video and sending it to the Father’s Club team. We will use that video as part of our weekly storytelling.

So grab your iPhone and tell us what is going on in your life, your community and in your Father’s Club chapter at your high school. We want to hear your stories! And if you are having trouble getting it to work, reach out and we will be there for you!

By Mike Rothwell, Board Member/Director of Community Partners for Father’s Club

Father's Club Saturday Morning Workout“Hey, you should come check out the Father’s Club Workout on Saturday mornings. It has really been a game changer for so many. We work out together, develop relationships, and encourage one another along the journey.”

“Sounds great. How do I get plugged in?”

“Well, it’s quite simple really. First off, it’s totally free. All you do is show up. We meet at 7:00 am for an outdoor workout, and then we grab a quick coffee afterwards. For some reason, it helps men get their day started right and prepares them to be leaders at home, at work and within the community.”

“Wait a second. Did you say outdoors at 7:00 am on a Saturday? No way dude. That is way too early on the one day I get to sleep in each week. Plus, you know it’s February in Kansas City. It is freezing cold outside. I’m too old to get up that early. I need my sleep man. I’m not in shape. I need to lose some weight before I come out to work out and embarrass myself in front of other dudes.”

Sound familiar?

Father's Club Saturday Morning Workout MapThe Father’s Club exists to create ways for dads to be intentional in engaging with kids, other dads, and the greater community they are called to serve. Often, dads find themselves lost and lonely in the pursuit of validation. One way we can battle this cultural tendency is to be stronger together. To live life in community with one another.

So in 2022, we launched a new Saturday Morning Workout for men to create intentionality around battling the cultural tendency of isolation. Now, on Saturday mornings, at 7:00 am, every dad (sons included-good luck) are invited to join us, do something challenging together, and lock arms in the battle.

We launched on January 8, 2022 at the Blue Valley Riding Neighborhood Pool. We meet at this location and head over to the Blue Valley High School Football Field. The culture of the workout is to spend 15 minutes warming up with an emphasis on flexibility, 30 minutes of a boot camp style workout, and finish up with 15 minutes of abdominal work and stretching.

We hold true to the fact that proper form is vital to ensuring we remain free from injury.

As a result, there is no shame in modification or fitness level. We will leave no man behind, and we will leave no man where we found them. 

No matter who you are, or where you are in the journey, you are welcome every Saturday morning. So let’s give this away to all men in our community, and invite them out for a lower impact workout where they will feel welcome and encouraged to come back out and get a little bit better than the week before. 

Mike Rothwell, Director of Community Partners for Father’s Club

By Brad Holdhusen, CEO/Board Member/Chapter Chair for Father’s Club

It was a freezing cold day on January 19, 2020. I was meandering through the aroma of good barbeque at the AFC Championship pre-game tailgate atmosphere out at Arrowhead when my ears locked into some good red dirt music. As I moved closer, I recognized Reckless Kelly blasting at this Taj Mahal-like tailgate hosted by the guys from Hooray Grills. Like a moth to a flame, I approached with wide eyes and a grin on my face…

Zach PedersonIt was that day that not only did I witness our Kansas City Chiefs WIN the AFC Championship over the Titans, but I had the opportunity to meet my now good friend, Zach Pederson, for the first time.

Don’t know Zach?  You need to… Let me give you just a glimpse as to why I chose to do a blog spotlight on this dude.

Soon after that January day in 2020 when Zach and I first met, I had the opportunity to share my passion behind The Father’s Club with him over beers at Tanners. Zach was all in – he loved it! Since that day, Zach, Owner of Rock Road Creative, has (for next to nothing) shared his company and his talents with The Father’s Club. This VIDEO is just one example of him sharing his time and talent with our organization as he helped spotlight The Father’s Club at our annual Mission Cup golf tournament that we host every year in late August. Additionally, Zach and his dad generously donated a duck hunt for our 2021 Mission Cup silent auction last year as they agreed to host a dad and his son or daughter out at their waterfowl property this month.

Beyond running Rock Road Creative, Zach has had his hands in many things over the years as he’s amassed a great network of respected business and community leaders. Zach calls Overland Park home where he lives with his wife Megan and their 3 kids, Penelope (age 5), Hank (age 4) and Ford (age 2).

Zach, Thanks for your partnership with The Father’s Club. We look forward to many more years of intentional engagement as your family’s roots grow deeper in this community. We’re grateful to have you as a part of it!

Business Owners: Looking for a great video, photo, website development, social media agency? Reach out to Zach and his team here:
Zach Pederson, Owner
Rock Road Creative
(913) 915-6137

The 2020 Mission Cup Video Zach Helped Us With

By Doug McIntyre, Chapter Chair of Blue Valley North

From the first day of school to Home Coming at Blue Valley North High School, Father’s Club has been making student’s days in 2021.

Partnering with the Administration, Father’s Club kicked off the school year with a surprise picnic for the students  outside with yard games, cookies, and Dad DJ crushing the tunes.

Father's Club: Blue Valley North Cookie Day Father's Club: Blue Valley North Cookie Day

Home Coming festivities and the Parade were back this year and so was The Father’s Club… building on traditions.

In addition to building the bon fire, managing parking lot safety, this year saw Matt Roening, Matt Textor, and Chris Whigham host our first ever Father’s Club parade entry with Big Red and Little Red. In years past, two student clubs, GSA and the Diversity Club didn’t have the resources to host their own float. Father’s club partnered with RideNow Powersports to make their day.

I want to say thank you to Father’s Club for making my day yesterday. I am so grateful of you all for putting that big of a smile on so many kids faces. It was definitely a wonderful day!
Sheryl Stein, Club sponsor

Father's Club - Parade Entry Father's Club - Parade Entry