Happy Thanksgiving from Father's ClubBy Mike Rothwell, Board Member/Director of Community Partners for Father’s Club

Welcome to the season of tryptophan and pumpkin spice everything. This week, we will over indulge as we surround ourselves with family and friends and give thanks for the important things in life. When it’s all over, we will put on our fat pants, watch some football, and take a nap.

For many of us, this is a time of rest, laughter, and being with those we love. For others, this is a painful time as we grieve the loss of a family member or friend who is no longer around the thanksgiving table. Whatever your circumstances this Thanksgiving, please know that you are not alone. You matter.

Happy Thanksgiving from Father's Club Happy Thanksgiving from Father's Club

From all of the Dads at the Father’s Club, may you have a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving Holiday this year.

We also want to a moment to look back and express our gratitude for the dads who care enough to make this community thrive. We look back at the pictures of dads showing up and pressing in at their local schools and we simply smile. What a joy and privilege it is to serve alongside so many high-impact men in our community.

We appreciate the hours of service and the dollars contributed to fulfill our mission of creating simple ways for dads to be intentional with their KIDS, with other DADS and within their COMMUNITY. From tailgates, to avid classes, to Fist Bumps 4 Food (FB4F), to cleaning up the school grounds, to halftime hot dog giveaways and beyond, you guys are simply amazing.

Happy Thanksgiving from Father's Club Happy Thanksgiving from Father's Club

We also want to pause in this space to remember our brother and visionary Vince Stephens.

Vince Stephens MemorialThe heart of Vince Stephens lives on in all of us as we pursue intentionality with our kids, each other and our larger community. Vince had a vision of men stepping up and being present. His transparency with relative strangers from day one is still at the heart of why we do what we do.

We are not alone in the battles this life brings. We need each other to pursue excellence and face the challenges we are all so familiar with. Today, we continue to express our thoughts and prayers for Veronica and her family as they grieve the loss of their husband and father during this first Thanksgiving without their beloved.

We hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving Holiday and continue to pursue intentional moments and opportunities throughout the holiday season.

– The Father’s Club Board

Blue Valley Father’s Club Leader Mike Oppold Reminisces About the Past and PresentBy Mike Oppold – Director, Blue Valley Region for Father’s Club

Note: Mike has been active in Father’s Club since its inception in 2018. He has one daughter who recently graduated from BVHS and a son who is currently an active senior at BVHS.

It’s been a crazy, wild ride during my tenure with Father’s Club. From the beginning of figuring out what we wanted to be as an organization and how to best get there as men and fathers, to fine tuning our message and creating impactful situations in our kids’ and fathers’ lives. Despite the Covid years, we worked together to build a truly resilient group of men to lead the Blue Valley High School chapter. Because of these things, becoming involved in FC has been the best decision I could have ever made as both a father and as a man.

How it began.

My personal FC experience started from the very beginning when Vince Stephens and Brad Holdhusen first gathered the BVHS dads together to pitch the idea.

The idea of dads locking arms to impact our kids’ lives as well as building community amongst the dads themselves has had a HUGE impact on my life when I look back over the past 7 years. I was a freshman AVID advisor for my daughter Emily’s class right out the gate in 2018. My main role initially was inserting dads into the classroom to provide career presentations and activities like resume reviews and mock interviews.

I still remember the kids’ reactions when the dads doing their career presentations told them they went to college but didn’t really know what they wanted to do when they graduated. The kids’ heads snapped up from writing notes and you could almost read their minds as they thought “…wait a minute! I DON’T have to have my life all figured out before I get to college?!”

Blue Valley Father’s Club Leader Mike Oppold Reminisces About the Past and Present Blue Valley Father’s Club Leader Mike Oppold Reminisces About the Past and Present

How it grew.

From there, I stepped into the BVHS Chapter Chair role and worked with 6 men to expand our steering committee up to its current 18 men (many shoulders carry a lot of weight!)

We work together brainstorming ideas of how we can have a more impactful presence within BVHS, then implementing as many as possible in the shortest window of time. Trust me, we bombed on a few and had many laughs as a result; however, we have made a huge impact on the Blue Valley community with many of our ideas.

It helped tremendously to have the support of former Principal Scott Bacon as well as current Principal Golden, not to mention the entire staff at BVHS.

Blue Valley Father’s Club Leader Mike Oppold Reminisces About the Past and Present Blue Valley Father’s Club Leader Mike Oppold Reminisces About the Past and Present

There are two huge rewards that Father’s Club has brought to my life.

First is the ability to engage with all the kids and have them really talk to you about what’s going on in their lives, and have them shout, “Hey, Mr. Oppold!” when I’m walking around school or a BVHS athletic event. It is evident they trust and respect me and the other dads because we have shown we care.

Second is the community of men that I’ve met and worked with. There are upwards of 50-60 incredible dads that I would have never crossed paths with let alone ever gotten to know if not for my FC involvement.

FC has truly been a blessing to me and my family’s life. If your school has a Father’s Club chapter and you aren’t currently involved, I would strongly encourage you to get involved. It can be life changing. And if there is not currently a chapter at your high school, it might be time to start a conversation about launching a new chapter!

Blue Valley Father’s Club Leader Mike Oppold Reminisces About the Past and Present Blue Valley Father’s Club Leader Mike Oppold Reminisces About the Past and Present

By Christopher Caton, Blue Valley High Sschool Steering Committee

Blue Valley High School Fist Bumps 4 FoodOn September 15th, the Blue Valley High School (BVHS) dads showed up for Fist Bumps 4 Food (FB4F)… this is absolutely one of my favorite events of the year.

We handed out 800 chicken and biscuit sandwiches from Chick-fil-A to all the students coming into school that morning. As always, we run out of food each and every time.

We have dad’s at every door, and although the biscuits are optional, the fist bumps are mandatory. Or at least they were at my door… Haha!

This is my second year being engaged with the BVHS Father’s Club FB4F events.

Over time I have learned that I like to position myself at the front door where the freshman get dropped off by their parents. It’s so much fun watching freshmen, who are generally not in the best of moods, get out of the car with their parents and immediately start smiling when they see us handing out chicken sandwiches.

It’s literally a transformation of emotions from the car as they walk towards us, and they have huge smiles on their faces as they say thank you and go to school with completely changed attitudes.

For some odd reason this morning, I experienced a 2×4 to the forehead moment.

Blue Valley High School Fist Bumps 4 FoodI was overcome with emotion and was reminded of why we do simple things like showing up. As I stood at my post in front of the school I saw a student get out of their car, and immediately started smiling as we handed her a chicken biscuit sandwich, while again demanding a fist bump. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I see the student’s mother rolling down the window to speak to the group of dads. She proceeded to tell us that the student had just lost her dad and really needed us this morning. She expressed her gratitude and amazement. It was a simple gesture to let us know that we had no idea how much this meant to mother and student.

Everything happened so fast that I didn’t get a chance to get the students name, but I can tell you that every dad in front of BVHS had tears in their eyes for the next 10 minutes handing out fist bumps and food.

Again, FB4F is pure joy for both Dads and Kids, but this day was a strong reminder of why the Father’s Club is so important. For most, it’s just a breakfast sandwich. But for some, it is so much more. The Father’s Club made a difference today… good work dads. Keep showing up!

Right Here. Right Now You Matter.

By Randy Bratton, Board Member/Director of Campus Growth for Father’s Club

The 14th annual Mission Cup golf tournament was a huge success!  In early September, 144 golfers enjoyed a perfect day at Eagles Landing Golf Course.

The Mission Cup is the one large fundraiser that Father’s Club has per year, so it’s all hands on deck for that weekend.

We played golf on Friday, and then on Saturday we held our annual Auction and After Party at Chicken and Pickle in Overland Park.

Father's Club Mission Cup 2023 Father's Club Mission Cup 2023 Father's Club Mission Cup 2023

Father's Club Mission Cup 2023As Father’s Club continues to grow, so does our Mission Cup team!

A special thanks to the planning committee members for 2023: Jeff von Seldeneck, Mike Davisson, Chris Caton, Kevin Easterday, Anthony Bower, Charles Dahm, Mike Rothwell, Jeremy Marks, and Mike Oppold. Putting on this event takes a LOT of work, and these guys assembled an amazing group of sponsors and auction items.

Also special thanks to Marlo Bratton and Jillaine von Seldeneck for handling golfer registrations and doing whatever was needed at the auction and after party! Video and photography for the weekend was provided by Noah Johnson and Allie Bratton. It’s a huge group effort.

Father's Club Mission Cup 2023 Father's Club Mission Cup 2023

Next year promises to be even bigger!

Father’s Club continues to grow across the Kansas City metro, and we plan to scale the Mission Cup weekend to match that growth with additional events and opportunities to support the effort.

Lastly, the biggest thank you goes out to the dads who continue to lean in and support their kids and their communities through the work of the Father’s Club. You guys are setting a powerful example for your families. Keep up the great work! We’ll see you all at next year’s Mission Cup!

P.S. And who knows what you might see at the event… maybe even a rare sighting of Brad Holdhusen (left) breaking out his fishing rod in the middle of the course… and Jamie Bluma (right) holding up the results.

Brad Holdhusen fishing on the golf course? :) Father's Club Mission Cup 2023

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

There’s a saying with Father’s Club members coined by our CEO, Brad Holdhusen a few years ago. It goes something like this…

“Dads, just grab a shovel. We will tell you where to dig the hole.”
Brad Holdhusen

What Brad was trying to communicate in very simple terms that most dads would understand is that we don’t want to make your involvement in Father’s Club complex or confusing. Just show up, and we’ll have it all planned out for you. We just need you to show up!

What the leaders of Father’s Club have learned over our five years around how to get dads to show up, get engaged, and be intentional is that we need to keep it simple. As simple as just grabbing a shovel and digging a hole. We liked the concept so much that we decided to adopt the words and turn it into an award.

The Shovel Award was designed to recognize and be given out to dads who consistently show up, get engaged and demonstrate how to be intentional with their kids, their families, and their community!

The Chris Mitchell Memorial Shovel Award

The Chris Mitchell Memorial Shovel Award

BVSW Shovel Award - 2022/2023 School YearThe Blue Valley Southwest (BVSW) Chapter wanted to recognize and honor a special dad by naming the The Shovel Award at BVSW the “Chris Mitchell Memorial Shovel Award” in honor of Chris Mitchell. Chris, an awesome BVSW dad, exemplified what it means to be an engaged, an intentional and a committed father to his family, his lovely wife Stephanie, his daughters Cara Allie & Kaitlin, their school BVSW and their community.

Chris’s legacy will live on in the halls of BVSW, in the community and in the ranks of dads at Father’s Club for generations to come. It cannot be said enough that Chris Mitchell was a perfect example of an engaged, intentional, loving and committed father who always “showed up!” Chris, my friend, your smiling face, caring personality and “show up” attitude will be sorely missed!

I am happy and honored to announce the recipients of the Chris Mitchell Memorial Shovel Award at BVSW for school year 2022/2023 are Charles Dahm, one of the coolest and hardest working volunteer dads at BVSW, Scott Roberts former principal at BVSW and now Executive Director of School Admin & Tyler Alexander, current principal at BVSW.

BVSW Shovel Award: Scott Roberts BVSW Shovel Award: Tyler Alexander BVSW Shovel Award: Charles Dahm

By Dan Holdhusen, Grandfather of two graduates and two currently enrolled in Blue Valley High School

Father's Club Recognized by National Programs and FoundationsFather’s Club is comprised of hundreds of dads (and even granddads) who love their kids and want to see them strive to thrive in their school and community experiences during the most critical developmental time of their lives. Coming alongside teachers and administrators to provide support and affirmation to students in middle and high school in the Kansas City metro area is its passion.

The Father’s Club mission would not be successful without the dedicated hearts and hands of fathers who genuinely care for the health and well-being of their children and the support system that surrounds them in our great schools. Success in advancing its vision and mission would also not happen without the investment of dads across the Father’s Club’s footprint on both sides of the Kansas and Missouri border who dedicate literally thousands of hours of volunteer time, while, at the same time, carrying out their professional “day jobs” to care for the needs of their families.

Randy Bratton is a man and dad who wears many hats. In addition to his #1 priority of being a great husband and father to his wife, Marlo, and their three children, he carries the title of Investment Advisor Representative at Prevail Strategies in Leawood, KS. If that were not enough, Randy dedicates hundreds of volunteer hours to the Father’s Club, serving on its Board of Directors, as the Director of Campus Growth, AND as the chief sparkplug and leader of Father’s Club’s major annual fundraiser – the Mission Cup golf event.

Because of Randy’s heart to serve and his investment of countless hours into the Father’s Club mission, we are excited and proud to announce that the Father’s Club has been awarded grants in his name to help support its programs which came from two national organizations: the MassMutual Foundation and Invest in Others.

Both of these national organizations support the work of other very worthy and recognized nonprofit organizations across the country. In addition to Father’s Club, others receiving awards from MassMutual and Invest in Others to help support their efforts include Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Special Olympics, American Heart Association, and many more.

MassMutual Foundation

Father's Club Recognized by National Programs and Foundations Through Randy’s incredible leadership and sense of volunteerism, MassMutual awarded the Father’s Club a $5,000 Community Service Award (CSA) for its efforts in schools throughout the Kansas City metro area. In the Foundation’s press release, the president of MassMutual Foundation explained:

Last year, participating financial professionals (like Randy) donated almost 18,000 hours of service to nonprofit organizations across the country. We are proud to recognize these individuals who are making a difference in their communities and demonstrating what it means to live mutually through their volunteer efforts and dedication to the causes they support.

Click here to read the MassMutual Press Release

Invest in Others

Father's Club Recognized by National Programs and Foundations In addition to the national grant award described above, the Father’s Club also received an additional $2,000 donation in recognition of Randy Bratton being named one of its community “Volunteer of the Year.”

Annually, Invest in Others awards grants to financial professionals who give back to community causes greater than themselves. According to its website, the Volunteer of the Year recognition is “(p)resented to an advisor who has made a significant impact on a nonprofit as a volunteer of at least 3 years by working hands-on and giving of their time, talent, and energy to make a lasting impact on the organization, those it serves, and the community at large.”

Randy Requested No Spotlight…

Randy BrattonAlthough these significant awards and grant dollars were awarded because of the meritorious dedication of Randy Bratton, his humility and giving spirit has no interest to shine the spotlight on himself. He quickly points out that the real beneficiaries in the receipt of these grant funds are those who are touched and affected by the everyday extraordinary mission of dads, working with other dads, to make a positive difference in the lives of students in and around the 27 campuses and communities – with more being added monthly – that are within the Father’s Club sphere of influence.

Brad Holdhusen, the Father’s Club President and CEO, adds his kudos and recognition of Randy Bratton’s efforts and his servant’s heart. However, he quickly adds: “Randy will be the first to point all the praise to the greater Father’s Club nation. The grant dollars will help us more effectively carry out our mission, and we are extremely proud to be one of the noteworthy brethren of national nonprofit organizations that have received these awards from MassMutual and Invest in Others.”

By Brad Holdhusen, Co-Founder, CEO & Board Member for Father’s Club

All too often, when an amazing human being leaves this earth, memories of them, their impact, what they did/accomplished, how they loved, etc. is too quickly forgotten. As I sit here nearly three months after Vince Stephens unexpectedly passed away on the evening of March 21, 2023, I wish I could tell you that the delay in me writing a memorial blog about him is because I intentionally wanted to wait a while so that I could resurface memories of such an amazing man. The truth… I’ve been avoiding this moment. I couldn’t bring myself to sit down and write this until now.


Because never in my life up to this point has the pain of losing someone so near and dear—not just to me, but to hundreds of people—stung so incredibly much. Although most all of the major surface level “boxes” that society likes to check were completely opposite between Vince and I, I could not have considered that man more of a “brother” to me than most anyone I’ve ever known.

Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial

Vince and I often joked about how a man from the streets of Cleveland who would rather do anything but hunt, fish or spend time in the woods, could meet a hillbilly from the fields of South Dakota who would rather do nothing but those activities. Through the world’s eyes, Vince and I couldn’t be more polar opposite… But in the deep, rich moments of our 1:1 conversations and through how our shared passion for our families, our marriages and our community knitted us together, you might’ve thought we were separated at birth. I’m so very grateful that Darrin Wolff had the foresight to introduce the two of us back during the fall of 2017.

That said, the purpose of this blog is to not articulate the chronology of Vince and I’s relationship. Furthermore, I typically would be sensitive about not writing a book of a blog.

This is one time where I will write unabated and unconcerned about how many paragraphs end up falling on the page. Vince’s life is deserving of more than a book or even a series of novels… It’s deserving of one of the most well written documentaries produced by the world’s best cinematic producer and displayed on the biggest screen for the world’s largest audience to soak in! Yes, the man was THAT impactful.

Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial

How can I make such a claim?

Because those of us who knew Vince will have never seen nor experienced a human being who understands AND LIVED OUT what the words “grace and “love really mean… I mean REALLY… more than this man did. The stories and examples that prove this to be true are too many to recant. However, know this… The overall theme of this man’s life (at least, during the time I was gifted to know and spend time with him) was way beyond the norm.

During his first F3 workout, Vince was given the nickname “Doctor Love”. The group of guys that morning clearly knew the man well. You couldn’t present a better example of someone living out and leading with love more effectively and consistently than Vince did. With that said, I would be remiss and misrepresenting why that was the case if I did not bluntly describe what (rather who) Vince quickly credited when people noticed these characteristics in the way he lived his life.

“But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” [and LOVE!… Vince’s favorite word].
1 Peter 3:15

If I heard Vince quote that verse from memory once, I heard it 1,000 times… The man ate, breathed, slept, and lived that verse daily. Like any red blooded, American male, dad, husband, father, friend, coworker etc., Vince was far from perfect (he’d be the first to tell you that). In the same respect, he didn’t live a life for the horizontal audience that surrounded him every day here on earth… Rather he lived his life for a vertical audience of 1 – Jesus.

Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial

This blog is not intended to be a sermon nor a list of recommendations on how YOU should live your life… It’s simply a respectful way to memorialize and recant the factual way in which Vince Stephens lived HIS life along with the use of words that often crossed HIS lips.

So, in closing, if I had the opportunity to say one last thing to my brother, Vince, it would be:

Well done, brother! In the spirit of the words that I have so often heard you recite from memory, your ACTIONS and how you LOVED provided you the opportunity to “share with people the reason for your hope”… The way you lived your life will forever be an inspiration and an example to me and so many others.

Your foundational initiation and involvement in starting The Father’s Club will forever be honored and upheld. That is my personal promise to you, your amazing wife, Veronica, and your 4 boys, Vince Jr., Brandon, Justin, and Dorian.

Here’s to one last, “I love you, brother!”…. Words I will miss saying to you while going in for a big “Holdy Hug”. Thank you for the forever impact you had on my life and so many others.

You will be missed… But you will NOT be forgotten!

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Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial

Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial

Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial

Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial Vince Stephens Memorial

Vince Stephens Memorial

By Dan Holdhusen, Grandfather of two graduates and two currently enrolled in Blue Valley High School, Mike Rothwell, Board Member/Director of Community Partners for Father’s Club and Mike Davisson, Regional Director & Board Member for Father’s Club

You MatterIn our quest to live up to our mission, this past 2022-2023 school year was, by far, the Father’s Club most successful yet as we found simple and profound ways to be intentional in the lives of our KIDS, OTHER DADS and within our COMMUNITIES.

Growth and Expansion

Father’s Club has experienced dramatic growth this past year by advancing and promoting one of the most foolproof, tried and true, and historically significant principles of success: getting dads involved in the lives and activities of their kids, with one another, and in the communities they call home. In the school year 2022-23 Father’s Club expanded its footprint and level of activity to new arenas, while at the same time, successfully carrying out its mission with simplicity and effectiveness.

Father’s Club footprint expanded this past year, and now includes four Regions consisting of schools in both Kansas and Missouri in the Kansas City metro area. The four Regions spread across the geographic areas of Olathe, Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission and Lee Summit now include a total of 28 Chapters. Included in the Chapter are more than 1,800 registered dads and countless others who are continually seeing the benefits that come with dads’ proactive involvement in the lives and livelihood of their children. These hundreds of fathers have jumped in – feet- and hearts-first – to get involved and invested in Father’s Club activities and events throughout the metro area.

Sponsored Events and Focused Activities

Father’s ClubIn addition to the recent launch of our 28th Chapter, the expansion of long-standing Chapters has grown to include new and innovative events, as well as the continuation of many familiar favorites. Each Chapter has been challenged to be creative and innovative by using a combination of ideas and events in which dads can engage with their Childrens’ schools to show each one of them “how much each one of them matters – right here, right now!” Some of these events have included:

  • Dads showing up early to greet kids starting their school day with a fist bump, some breakfast snacks, a huge smile, and tons of encouragement to show them that dads care and kids are important.
  • Dads showing up on weekends to help trim the trees, bushes, and shrubs and contribute, in many small ways, by showing pride in the beautification and appearance of our school grounds and landscaping.
  • A focus on mental health awareness and education that affects the lives of so many kids and their families in an authentic way in today’s culture. Concrete ways in which this focus was addressed in the past year included a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training event in March 2023 where forty dads received training and resources from experts on mental health awareness issues, including teen suicide.

Chuck's Last RideThe cost of this MHFA training event was paid for by the dads who attended, as well as from proceeds raised from “Chuck’s Last Ride”, which was accomplished by Chuck Smith, a cancer victim, whose heart was captured by teenage mental health challenges and teen suicide. Sadly, Chuck passed away shortly after completing a 3,000-mile ride on his motorcycle through western United States. He inspired thousands with his courage and left a tremendous legacy that the Father’s Club and those touched by its mission still benefit from today.

The goal of Father’s Club Mental Health First Aid Training has been to train 1,000 dads to have a deep understanding of the issues surrounding the mental health crisis kids and families are facing – including teen suicide – and to train others and make them aware of symptoms and how to proactively address them.

With assistance of a substantial financial gift from a local family foundation, we have purchased training resources to further dads in a “train the trainers” approach to facilitate reaching our goal of reaching and educating 1,000 fathers. To date, 130 dads are certified in Mental Health First Aid.

Father’s Club also underwrote four performances of an original drama entitled “The Brightest It’s Ever Been,” which was written by Kayli Slayden and produced by Will Gurley. The ‘Pop Up’ performances dramatized the life of a teenager living with anxiety, stress and the pressure adolescents endure.  The play was performed in front of four packed-house audiences in May 2023.

Harvesting Friends and Funds

Father’s ClubRaising funds and financial support is not our purpose, but fund-raising activities are important to grow and sustain the mission of Father’s Club – both at the individual Chapter and the organizational levels.

Chapters came up with very innovative ways to raise not only financial support during the 2022-23 school year; but also ways to promote involvement by dads in the lives of their kids in their schools. Events are not only a fun way to raise important funds to fuel the mission, but also bring dads and family members together during times of crisis and to cheer on the school band, athletic, choir, cheer events, and an assortment of other groups and activities.

Events are too numerous to mention, but schools and events that stood out this past year include:

  • Olathe Northwest – organized and participated in many school activities including a school tailgate, staff appreciation breakfast, a candy and ‘high five’ preschool distribution and greeting, and forged a potential fundraising partnership with other organizations, including giveback2schools, which support raising of funds for extracurricular activities that are normally outside of school budgets.
  • Blue Valley West – dads organized and led the concession sales at school events and raised considerable dollars, much of which was redistributed in the form of scholarships for needy and deserving students.
  • Olathe East – Hosted a breakfast handout before school finals, as well as a football tailgate that recognized the school’s band, drumline, and cheerleaders. In addition, dads distributed coffee and cookies to recognize and honor teachers and provided two $500 Perseverance Award Scholarships to two worthy students. One notable Father’s Club event was the organization of several rallies to support the students and faculty after sad events, including a school shooting that occurred in March 2022.
  • Lee Summit District (including Lee Summit, Lee Summit West, and Lee Summit North) – Were the recipients of a Certificate of Recognition at the Board of Education’s March 16, 2023, meeting.
  • Blue Valley High School – Among numerous events held throughout the year, the Father’s Club organizes several dad and student events including a Career Fair, parent career class presentations, and also have a meeting once a month with the principal to receive feedback and suggestions for dad-involvement in the school and to provide him with encouragement.
  • The list goes on and on… we’ve covered many of these events in our blog.

The Mission CupIn addition to numerous Chapter fundraising activities throughout the year, the Father’s Club primary fundraiser is the annual Mission Cup Golf Tournament and Auction Party which were held on September 9-10, 2022. The Mission Cup was the most successful ever, hosting two hundred golfers and raising over $50,000 to support the Father’s Club mission. We are expecting even bigger things during the 2023 Mission Cup.  We hope you will join us.

Wanting to get dad involved early-on, several Chapters launched in middle schools this past year in addition to those that have been established at high schools in the four metro area Regions. The latest launch occurred toward the end of the 2022-23 school year at Kansas City Christian, which is part of the Shawnee Mission Region.

Awards and Honors

Father's Club 2023 Friends of Education AwardThe Father’s Club received some special honors this past year. In addition to the Certificate of Recognition received from the Lee Summit Board of Education mentioned above, the Blue Valley Independent School District Board recognized the Father’s Club for its partnership and outstanding work in the Blue Valley District by honoring us with the acclaimed “Friend of Education” Certificate of Recognition. In accepting the award, Brad Holdhusen, speaking on behalf of the entire Father’s Club organization across the metro area and, in particular, the group representing the Blue Valley school district said: “We cannot be prouder and more pleased at being recognized for this prestigious award from the Blue Valley district. Father’s Club is not seeking achievement awards. But this recognition is accepted with a deep sense of pride and humility on behalf of the hundreds of dads who put the welfare and education of our kids first.”

Following receipt of the “Friends of Education” recognition, the Blue Valley School District honored us by producing and publishing on social media a video to recognize the Father’s Club, which included testimonies of principals at Blue Valley West and Blue Valley Southwest.

During the school year, the Father’s Club recognized Scott Bacon, former principal at Blue Valley High School, as the 2022 Shovel Award Recipient of the year. The Shovel Award is a recognition given annually to a person who is extremely special and has done a phenomenal job of consistently promoting and supporting Father’s Club. In 2018, Scott was an instrumental part in the creation of the Fathers’s Club by assisting the establishment of our first Chapter at Blue Valley High School.   His leadership in education has been truly exceptional, and Father’s Club will be forever indebted to him. Scott has now moved on to become principal at Raytown-Peculiar (Ray-Pec) High School in Missouri.

A Sad Farewell

Vince StephensFinally, we end this year-in-review on an incredibly sad note. On March 21 of this year, our beloved founder and incredible friend, Vince Stephens passed away suddenly at the much-too-young age of sixty. Vince was a humble giant among men and is dearly missed by all. We will continue to surround his wife, Veronica, and his four sons Vince, Jr., Brandon, Justin and Dorian and their families with all of the Father’s Club devotion and support we can muster. You are greatly missed, Vince.

We will continue to build on our dad-led efforts into the coming year. We believe it is important to take a look back and celebrate all that has taken place this past year. Although we dream of expanding Father’s Club Chapters in places like the Kansas City Northland, Blue Springs, Topeka, Wichita and beyond, we are continually reminded that fathers and fatherhood are a powerful force for good, wherever, and whenever dads make themselves available. Our communities need us, our schools need us, we need one another. But, most importantly, our kids need their fathers to be involved.

We will continue to be driven and fortified by our Core Values: Putting Others First, Personal Excellence, Integrity, Working Together, Accountability, and humbly Lead Courageously. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to our mission this past school year.

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

The Father’s Club Mission is to create simple ways for dads to be intentional with their KIDS, with other DADS and within their COMMUNITY.
With resolve, humility, and love, our mission is to be a catalyst for positive influence around the world.

The Pandemic of Male LonelinessIn today’s fast-paced and digitally connected world, it may seem paradoxical to discuss loneliness. However, despite the apparent constant connectivity, many men find themselves struggling with isolation and a lack of meaningful connections. Enter F3, a unique platform that has emerged as a powerful solution for male loneliness. In this blog post, we will explore how F3Nation.com addresses this pervasive issue and offers men a supportive community where they can forge lasting bonds, improve their physical fitness, and enhance their overall well-being.

Understanding Male Loneliness:

Loneliness affects people of all genders, but studies have shown that men, in particular, tend to struggle with loneliness. Societal expectations and traditional gender roles often discourage men from expressing vulnerability and seeking emotional support. As a result, many men suffer in silence, leading to various physical and mental health issues. Male loneliness is a complex issue, but it is one that F3 aims to tackle head-on.

What is F3?

F3, which stands for Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith, is a non-profit organization that focuses on creating free, peer-led workouts for men across the United States and beyond. It operates through a robust online platform that allows men to find nearby F3 workouts and connect with fellow participants. But F3 is more than just a fitness program; it is a community built on the principles of support, accountability, and personal growth.

And four years ago, F3 Nation launched F3 Kansas City and the Father’s Club immediately aligned on Mission with this group and became community partners.


Physical fitness is a cornerstone of F3. By promoting regular exercise and encouraging men to push their limits, F3 provides an outlet for releasing stress, improving overall health, and boosting confidence. The shared experience of challenging workouts fosters camaraderie and creates a sense of belonging among participants. The group workouts enable men to form connections and build relationships with others who are striving for similar fitness goals.


F3 emphasizes fellowship as a means of combating male loneliness. Through its workouts, events, and community gatherings, F3 creates a space where men can come together, connect, and forge meaningful friendships. The organization encourages participants to reach out to one another, provide support, and offer accountability in various aspects of their lives beyond fitness. The bonds formed within F3 extend beyond workout sessions, often leading to lifelong friendships.


While F3 is not affiliated with any specific religious denomination, it recognizes the importance of faith in combating loneliness. F3 encourages men to explore and develop their own sense of purpose and spirituality, whatever that may mean to them. By providing a platform for open discussions and shared experiences, F3 facilitates personal growth and fosters a sense of belonging among participants.

What is the impact of F3?

The impact of F3 on male loneliness cannot be overstated. By combining fitness, fellowship, and faith, this unique platform provides men with the tools they need to overcome isolation and create meaningful connections. Participants often report improvements in mental health, increased self-confidence, and a renewed sense of purpose. F3’s supportive environment helps men develop skills for effective communication, emotional well-being, and personal growth, leading to a more fulfilling and connected life.

In a society where male loneliness continues to be a pressing issue, F3 offers a compelling solution. By prioritizing fitness, fellowship, and faith, this platform helps men combat isolation, build meaningful connections, and improve their overall well-being. F3 provides a supportive community where men can come together, grow personally and physically, and ultimately find lasting friendships. So, if you’re a man seeking to overcome loneliness and forge meaningful connections, F3 is waiting to welcome you into its supportive band of brothers.

This summer the Father’s Club encourages you to give F3 a try.

They have 37 different options available every week for ALL Men. Take a look at the schedule below and find a location and time that is convenient for you.

For more information we strongly suggest reading this article and podcast that dives deeper into the pandemic of male loneliness and how F3 aims to deliver a solution for ALL MEN!

Our very own Ryan Kapple, the OG Chapter Chair at Olathe East, wants to share a bit of his Father’s Club and F3 Journey with you.  Check it out!

The Pandemic of Male Loneliness

By Brad Holdhusen, Co-Founder, CEO & Board Member for Father’s Club

My “Pops” has been my hero since I can remember. Sadly, I don’t tell him that enough. So, please allow me the honor to share a brief tribute to him as he celebrates his 73rd birthday today, May 17th. (In case you don’t know him, his name is Dan.) I’m already tearing up and I’m not even three sentences in! That emotion for which I can affectionately thank my wonderful mom. OK, here goes…

This blog was prompted after I read my dad’s recent Father’s Club blog draft. That will be coming out next week. In his typical, humble fashion, he only scratched the surface on why I asked him to get deeply involved in Father’s Club as somewhat of our “Interim Executive Director”.

In an attempt to keep this blog from getting too long, I’ll try to simply focus on the reason behind why I asked my Pops to help out in this capacity and why I’m honored he chose to do so.

Dan Holdhusen Dan Holdhusen Dan Holdhusen

The Career

Over his professional career, my dad was entrusted with titles such as CEO, CFO, Director of Communications and others. He’s sat in on and has run many board meetings, has been deeply involved with more than one non-profit, addressed thousands–including elected officials in DC–at multiple public speaking opportunities and has dedicated much of his life to (at least in my opinion & through a son’s eyes) impacting many while flying under the radar with his refreshing and humble demeanor. Although his giftings outweigh most people, you will NEVER hear that from him… not even a glimpse or a hint. His impactful humility inspires me more than he knows.

Therefore, it was an honor when he agreed to “join the team” at the Father’s Club organizational leadership level. Not only has it provided me the opportunity to talk with him and meet him for lunch or breakfast on a more regular basis, but it has allowed me to comfortably know that many of the organizational details needing attention and focus are now in great shepherding hands… My dad’s hands. (Of course, with the help of myself and the rest of our very capable board.)

Dan Holdhusen Dan Holdhusen Dan Holdhusen

The Athlete

I could go on and on, but I’ll close by explaining some of the pictures that I pulled together for this blog. In his blog post next week, my dad alludes to being a high school athlete and draws a connection to “staying in the game” similar to not checking out after retiring. I’m proud to share that my Pops was an all-star on the basketball court and the football field for the Aberdeen Central Eagles in South Dakota. You’ll see some newspaper clips from those days in this blog.

In addition, BOTH my mom and dad were on the homecoming court pictured in the hometown parade as they were able to ride in the same convertible together their senior year. High school sweethearts to boot!

Lastly, you’ll see a picture of my dad with his dad (my grandpa Holdhusen) back in the day. Next to that, a picture of my dad (with a sweet mustache) holding me as a baby. Even at that very young age you can see the joy in my face as I look at my Pops.

Why write this blog, besides to obviously honor “my old man”? Because I believe it’s at the root of what Father’s Club is all about and why I pressed in so heavily when Vince Stephens approached me back in 2018… Because although dads aren’t always perfect, they are so incredibly important and instrumental in the lives and direction of their kids.

I’m honored to have been taught so many great qualities by “my old man”.

Love you, Pops!