By Mike Davisson, Regional Director & Board Member for Father’s Club

Olathe Region - Back to School UpdateWHEW! Back to school provides a lot of energy, excitement and activity as it relates to Father’s Club and how we engage with kids, dads and the community. All the preparation and planning throughout the summer begins to take shape as we welcome kids back to school and let them know they matter — right here and right now.

The start of the school year brings back to school nights, Fist Bump Fridays, tailgates, food handouts, community events, and recruiting and information events. But that’s not all. We’ve also had a few dad gatherings for coffee and a few happy hours across the six high school and four middle school chapters throughout Olathe.

None of this is possible without the outstanding partnership of the school and district administration in conjunction with our chapter chairs leadership and the dads involved at each school. However, it was a little embarrassing when I visited the tailgate of our newly launched chapter of Mission Trail Middle School only to find out that I only knew 25 letters of the alphabet. I didn’t know Y. 😊 (Dad jokes are highly encouraged, by the way.)

Olathe Region - Back to School Update

I’ve been asked what Father’s Club does.

Let me try to answer that by providing a snapshot of what has occurred in the first 60 days of the 2023-2024 school year:

  • 13 back to school/recruiting events/information nights
  • 5 football tailgates
  • 12 dad social gatherings
  • 11 Fist Bump Fridays and drop-off line fist bumps
  • More than 10,000 student interactions

Olathe Region - Back to School Update Olathe Region - Back to School Update Olathe Region - Back to School Update

Additionally, we’ve hosted a senior cookout at Olathe South, had a bonfire and cookout at Olathe East for homecoming week, partnered with school counselors to support Suicide Prevention Week by handing out 988 stickers, and worked on clearing brush and creating a new community disc golf course at Mission Trail Middle School. These are only the activities that I am aware of and am likely missing many others.

Get involved. You will be glad that you did.

If you haven’t signed up to learn more about Father’s Club or what is happening with your individual schools, what are you waiting for? Visit and sign up. I haven’t met a dad that wasn’t positively impacted by their involvement at any level. Additionally, I have yet to meet a dad that wished he spent more time at work or regretted spending time with his children.

Remember, you do not have to have a dad bod to be a Father Figure. 😊 (Had to end with one more dad joke.)

Olathe Region - Back to School Update

By Mike Tireman, Chapter Chair for Chisholm Trail Middle School

Let’s rewind to the start of summer… It was May 11th and the kids at Chisholm Trail Middle School wanted to be done with the school year. I get it… We fathers are excited for summer too! That means baseball games, summer vacations, BBQs, pool parties, you name it. But our kids have a few weeks left. How can we help them to finish the year strong?

Father's Club - Chisholm Trail Middle School - Fist Bumps

Fried Dough, Fist Bumps, and positive encouragement.

Daylight Donuts in West Olathe (K-7 & Santa Fe) was gracious enough to supply 560 doughnuts to help brighten our kid’s day! (For those of you who are math people, that’s almost 47 dozen!) LET’S GOOOOO!!!! We couldn’t wait.

We had 12 dads show up to not only pass out doughnuts, but to let our kids know that we are here, and we believe in them! We’ve got you! I can’t be more grateful to not only the dads that were there, but to those who donated their money, or just passed on the information about the event. YOU ROCK AND I APPRECIATE YOU!

The day initially started with me showing up at the wrong Daylight Donut store. WHOOPS!

No worries, I planned accordingly for Dad Mishaps (even we make mistakes sometimes. It’s RARE, but we do). We got the doughnuts and arrived at Chisholm Trail with the goods just in time. Dads were already there. Whew! This was going to be great! And thanks to Mike Davisson (Olathe District Father’s Club District Chair) and Brody Dorland (Olathe South incoming Father’s Club Chair) for getting things rolling as I was en route.

We got the tables set up, music pumping, and both school entries staffed with dads, fists ready to bump, and doughnuts ready to distribute. But one thing we didn’t plan for, THE RAIN! Or did we?!?!?! YOU’RE DARN RIGHT WE DID! We had umbrellas to help keep the kids dry and walked them right up to the yummy deliciousness that is Daylight Donuts as dry as we could keep them!

The day wrapped up when the final bell rang for the kids to get to their classes, and we handed out our last doughnuts right about the same time. It was perfect planning and a great day!

Oh, and one last thing… Photo Op!!! Bring it in dads! Let’s see those pearly whites!

Father's Club - Chisholm Trail Middle School - Fist Bumps Father's Club - Chisholm Trail Middle School - Fist Bumps

Well, not quite the last thing.

I had to let everything dry out in my garage. No need for that nastiness when I open everything back up! (This is a public service announcement for other chapter chairs.)

To see the kids’ smiles, their attitudes, their gratitude, their demeanor change right before our eyes… That’s IT! If we can be a catalyst for positivity in our community by being present for our kids, count me in! We received incredible feedback from not only our kids, but also parents, teachers, and members of our community. It was wonderful.

Dads… thank you! Know that our kids appreciate you being there for them! If we changed the trajectory of a day for just one of our kids, we did our job! I’ve talked with kids personally that want you to know they really enjoyed you being there for them. (With delicious fried dough in their bellies). Oh yeah!

To Daylight Donuts in West Olathe, we appreciate you! Thank you for working with us to bring beautiful doughnuts to our kids at a reasonable price. You are amazing!

To Rick Sola and Chisholm Trail, thank you for giving us the space and flexibility to be on site and allow us to bring our mission to the kids. It has been an amazing experience so far and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our partnership together.

To any dads who want to be a part of this awesome club, come on in! With resolve, humility, and love, our mission is to be a catalyst for positive influence around the world. If that sounds like that’s pretty cool to be a part of, guess what… IT IS! I love it and can’t wait for our next opportunity at the Father’s Club Chisholm Trail Middle School Chapter!

We’ll see you on the flip flop!! DUECES!!!

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

Back to SchoolBack to school means many things to so many people. The Father’s Club is gearing up to show up for students and meet them right where they are in their journey. We will engage with students, teachers, and administrators across the Father’s Club Nation to make an impact in the school year 23/24.

The Father’s Club community is focused on being intentional with kids and dads. We want to show up and be present this school year. 


Students, please know that we are here and ready to press in this year. Just go to our Chapter Chair Contact page and find out how you can connect with the Dads leading your local Father’s Club chapter.

You are loved, and we desire to see every single one of you flourish this next year. You absolutely have what it takes and we honestly know that you matter. We will show up for you and help you have the best school year ever!

Robin Williams

Teachers and Administrators

Teaches and Administrators we are excited to deepen our partnership with you in creative ways. Please know that we are passionate about showing up to support the kids and our school community. Please don’t be shy. We don’t have an agenda of things we must do. We specialize in the simple ways to make a meaningful impact.

We are here to partner with you and make your school community enriching for all students who walk the halls. Please reach out and share with us how we may serve you and the entire staff. It is a fact that when Dads are engaged in the life of a school community true impact really happens.

Heritage Christian Academy Father's Club Chapter Right Here. Right Now. You Matter.


We truly want this to be an awesome year for every Dad to get involved with the Father’s Club!

Are you curious to explore more ways in which the Father’s Club can engage at your school?  

Blue Valley Northwest Father's Club Chapter Right Here. Right Now. You Matter.

What are some ways the Father’s Club has engaged in the local school community?

  • Fist Bumps for Food (FB4F)
  • Tailgates
  • Fruit Snack Fridays
  • Hall Monitors
  • Avid Resources
  • Interviewing Proctors
  • Debate Judging
  • Job Fairs
  • Senior Sunrise / Send Off
  • Scholarships
  • Prom / Homecoming
  • Concession Stand
  • Halftime Games, Raffles and Performances
  • And this is only the beginning.

Here’s to a wonderful 2023/2024 School Year!

Let’s all show up for each other and have the best year ever.

Father’s Club
Est 2018

The Father's Club Mission Statement

By Clay Norkey and Kevin Saylan, Chair and Vice-Chair, Blue Valley West Father’s Club

Father’s Club Scholarships at Blue Valley West Highlight Mental Health PerseveranceThe Blue Valley West Father’s Club launches hot dogs into the student section at football games. We’ve thrown T-shirts into the crowd at student assemblies, and  at Class Day 2023, we gave away $2,500 in cold, hard cash!

The BV West Chapter developed a scholarship program last school year for the first time in Father’s Club history. We handed out five scholarships based on essays our applicants wrote on mental health. They were humbling, and they were inspiring.

Our students shared stories of endurance, persevering through mental-health struggles, and coping through the aftermath of suicide. They wrote about bullying, social-media depression, and anxiety. We read about the mental-health struggles faced by first-generation immigrants, and we were touched by heartfelt accounts of learning to live with diagnoses like obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The most inspiring essays were the accounts of how students turned battles into victories, overcame adversity and were better for it, took lessons learned and shared then with their peers, and felt the need to give back.

Our young people have a deep desire to help others:

From a student who plans to be an athletic coach:

I know from my experiences in sports and life that battles aren’t solely physical, but equally mental. I want to be there for my players as [certain adults] were for me, to guide and help them with their struggles. My dream is to be an advocate for teens and help them learn [that] it’s okay to talk about difficulties in life and to seek help.

From a senior who was in crisis:

Because of the huge stigma that surrounds mental health, it took me a very long time to reach out to anyone about how I was feeling. I felt desperate, hopeless, and weak. But I have found that people are much more willing to help you than you think they are.

Those connections also serve as a lifeboat. I hope that the people I try to help choose to provide support to others, which creates a ripple effect that will work to tear down the stigma around mental health.

What is going to help break it down is not one big act, but rather many small acts and meaningful connections. Little by little, we will all work together to help each other through our seemingly insurmountable issues.

From a student describing the mental-health struggles of a first-generation American family:

Father’s Club Scholarships at Blue Valley West Highlight Mental Health PerseveranceThe culture from which my parents were raised in demanded consistent perfection; mental health was disregarded, and struggles regarding the matter were pathologized. I’m proud to say I was able to contribute to [my mom] un-learning the harshness of this culture, and accepting one where it’s [okay] to struggle and seek help. I’m proud to tell this story and to have told this story to hundreds of people, in hope of de-stigmatizing mental health for those who grew up in orthodox cultures that disregarded the realness of mental health.

From a senior who reminds us that the tragedy of suicide affects countless others:

My first real experience with mental health and the long-term effects of it became very clear to me when my friend… committed suicide. It was very traumatic. I was unaware of how deeply affected he was. I knew he had struggled with depression for many years from being bullied, but I don’t think I understood how much it affected him.

It was during that time that we were made aware that a family member was struggling with depression and anxiety and had contemplated suicide. None of us knew how badly they struggled.

Knowing what I know now, I try to make a conscious effort every day to be a good friend and to reach out to people who might be struggling. I hope to someday share my passions with others and give kids a place to feel safe and express themselves.

And from a student who, through overcoming their own challenges, feels the need to give back:

A lot of people think that depression is just a period of being sad, but the feeling of being depressed is actually the feeling of being empty and hopeless.

I was kicked out of my friend group that I had been a part of for almost 10 years. I was bullied. I was shunned, made fun of, and posted on social media [in a bad way].

The staff at West and my family were all very supportive and I was lucky enough to come across two kind girls who asked me out to dinner one night. These are now my two best friends.

Mental health has had a huge impact on my life because it has shown me that I can overcome all kinds of things in life. And dealing with depression has helped me have empathy. I enjoy listening to people and having the ability to help people when I can. I am wanting to pursue a degree in secondary math education and counseling, because of all the experiences I have gone through during high school.

Five Scholarship Winners

Father’s Club Scholarships at Blue Valley West Highlight Mental Health PerseveranceOur five scholarship winners are certainly advocates and allies in their own unique ways. Their willingness to share their stories with us will help many others. They have helped fulfill the program’s two-pronged purpose. First, they have helped others, increased awareness of mental-health issues and resources, and helped reduce stigmas associated with mental-health issues. Second, we are providing educational financial assistance and recognition to students who have shared their personal stories and demonstrated a commitment and a future desire to help improve mental-health issues in their community.

This program fits squarely within the Father’s Club mission.

Congratulations again to our two honorable-mention award recipients ($250), Lillie Large and Ty Brechler; our Runners Up ($500), Sai Pradhan and Amanda Acheson; and our Father’s Club Top Scholarship winner ($1,000), Cooper Marquette. Although the scholarship may also be used for vocational or technical schools or programs, apprenticeship expenses, or other programs, all five will be attending universities across the country: Ole Miss, University of Arkansas, University of Pennsylvania, University of Nebraska—Lincoln, and K-State. We thank them for sharing their stories and encourage them to keep making a difference in the lives of others.

For more information about the scholarship program, please contact Clay Norkey, Chairman of the Blue Valley West Father’s Club, at

By Michael Gansman, Chapter Chair at Olathe Northwest for Father’s Club

Father's Club - Olathe NorthwestAt 6:45 am on May 22nd, a host of great dads gathered at Olathe Northwest High School to cheer on all the freshman, sophomores, and juniors as they entered the building for the first day of final exams.

Even though many of the kids were dreading it or a bit sleepy eyed when they approached the building, quickly, with music in the background, and a ‘good morning, are you ready for finals?’ greeting, they perked up. Some said ‘yes’. Some said ‘no’. Some said ‘I guess so’.

Then giving each student some Starburst packs, a fist bump, and telling them to ’go rock it’ cheered them up… bringing smiles to most.

In all, twelve dads manned the three main entrance doors and brought encouragement and cheer to the students.

Mr. Chris Zuck, Principal, stated, “We are very appreciative of the Fathers Club dads for their support of the ONW students as they finish out this school year, and we look forward to more events next year.”

Feast B4 FinalsBy Mike Davisson, Father’s Club Regional Director & Board Member

Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit handouts are one of those days that the students inquire about throughout the year and look forward to when the days arrive. Teachers and Administrators say that the mood in the school is noticeably different and the students seem to be more attentive; better learners and score better on their tests.


We also know that Finals can be daunting, overwhelming, create stress, anxiety and more.

The Olathe East Father’s Club wanted to do our part to reduce those feelings by starting the morning off on a positive note and help create the right environment for test taking by doing our Feast B4 Finals chicken biscuit handout. Not only do the students get greeted with a chicken biscuit, but also with encouraging words and fist bumps.

A Visible Reaction

Feast B4 FinalsThere is something special about seeing the eyes and posture of a student change to joy when they see large groups of dads; receive fist pumps; hear encouraging words for the day AND receive a little something special to eat.

As a dad, I can tell you it is one of the best days of the year and is something I would encourage every parent to ask their kids about. I challenge all dads to be intentional about finding time to join us for one of these events and experience it for yourself.

Thanks to Chick-fil-A Olathe for their partnership and thanks to all the dads that continue to show up and make these events so successful.

Feast B4 Finals

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

Fist Bumps 4 Food - Heritage Christian Academy Chargers Fist Bumps 4 Food - Heritage Christian Academy Chargers

The first “Fist Bumps 4 Food” is always special… And this one followed suit! The weather might have been less than ideal, but you wouldn’t have known it if you saw the faces of the Heritage Christian Academy Chargers Wednesday morning March 23rd.

Between the raindrops, the cloudy skies and what eventually turned into large wet snowflakes, bright smiles lit up the hallways at Heritage Christian Academy that Wednesday morning as cheeks & bellies got their fill of chicken biscuit sandwiches. The only currency the kids needed to collect their sandwich? An exuberant fist bump delivered with a smile from one of the dads!

Fist Bumps 4 Food - Heritage Christian Academy Chargers Fist Bumps 4 Food - Heritage Christian Academy Chargers Fist Bumps 4 Food - Heritage Christian Academy Chargers

Dads… make sure you don’t miss out on your next opportunity to attend “Fist Bumps 4 Food”! It’ll “feed” you in ways you wouldn’t have expected.

Ask your Father’s Club Chapter Chair when the next “Fist Bumps 4 Food” is happening at your kids’ school!

Fist Bumps 4 Food - Heritage Christian Academy Chargers Fist Bumps 4 Food - Heritage Christian Academy Chargers


We received a lot of positive feedback on the blog/video we created called “What does a daughter need from her father?” And we wanted to follow up with another video made from submissions from some of our sons. We asked them to create a quick video answering the question: What does a son need from his father? We put together three submissions in this video. Our hope is that these messages will inspire you as you show up for your sons.

Here are some highlights:

Role Model

What does a dad mean to me? Well, I think a dad is simply a role model. And most times they’re a teacher for you in your life, and they’re a strong male figure in your life, someone you look up to and someone you model your life after. And a dad shows you how to be a gentleman, shows you how to treat people with respect. And he shows you how to also respect women and how to love your wife unconditionally no matter what happens. And he shows you how to be successful in life. He shows you the ins and outs of life, and he shows you how to work hard.


He understands when you make a mistake and uses it as a learning opportunity because they were once in our shoes as well. And I also think a dad is someone who will show you how to be the man that God wants you to be. And a dad is someone that no matter what, they have their back and they love you. And a dad is someone who is present all the time and he’s there for your highest highs and your lowest lows.


Sons need their fathers to be someone that they can look up to and someone that sets a good example of what it means to be a man. And they need their fathers to teach them discipline and humility. And most importantly, they need their fathers to disciple them and to establish a relationship with Jesus, to talk about what boys need from their fathers. And for you to always be able to go to your father and just talk to him, no matter what the situation is. You want to know that he’ll always be there for you, just somebody that teaches you about life. And he’s always there by your side no matter what.

Father’s Club dads asked their daughters to create a quick video answering the question: What does a daughter need from her father? We put together six submissions into a quick video. What you hear will make you smile, nod your head, and think a bit about how you are answering the call if you have a daughter of your own.

Here are some highlights. (And some common themes!)


What I would say a girl around my age needs from her dad is honestly just transparency. I think that’s something that me and my dad have a really good relationship about. Every time that I make a mistake, he comes to me and he’s transparent with me about what he did when he was my age and how he would never stop loving me no matter what I do, and that he would always be there for me.

Be a Good Example

I think the most important thing is an example. He needs to be an example of a good and loving husband, a great friend, a community member, a worker, a parent, and a person. Because your daughter is going to model all of the future men in her life after her father, including the men she’s going to end up marrying. So you want her to be to have high standards, and those standards are modeled after you.

Share your Passions

Share you passions with me. This is an important part of building a relationship with your daughter as she’s reaching adulthood. You kind of have to step back from that parental role and be more of just supporting character and friend.

Unconditional Love

Most importantly, I think that daughters just need unconditional love. And to know that no matter how much they mess up that their dad will always be there and love them and support them.

Loving Imperfections

Daughters need love, patience, and honesty. Not someone who has lived their life perfectly, but someone that encourages a life of integrity.


I think a daughter needs unconditional love, support, encouragement, just good listening ears and a shoulder to cry on. Definitely patience and just to be present.


It’s very important to feel supported in everything that you do at this age, we are going to make so many mistakes, and having a father that is constantly reassuring you that he’s proud of you is so critical. No matter how old you get, how busy your life gets, taking time to sit down and do something like chatting on the phone, playing a game of cards, going on a drive, things like that are important.


Two things: reassurance and letting you know that he’s proud of you. Also, quality time together!

Paul Schmidt

Paul Schmidt

By Paul Schmidt

It started with a simple ask, a bonfire like no other. Little did Scott Roberts, Blue Valley Southwest Principal, know, he had the dads of the Blue Valley Southwest Father’s Club at “Fire.”

Let’s back up and set the stage.

In 2019, the Blue Valley Southwest PTO adopted the motto, “Five Schools, One Community.” The goal is to build and strengthen the community across all grade levels. This goal led to creating a community fest and Trunk or Treat at the high school on the eve of BVSW’s homecoming football game.

In years past, on the eve of homecoming, the students would plan the bonfire, but it wasn’t quite as epic and memorable as Roberts wanted, so he sent out a call to the Father’s Club.

Blue Valley Southwest Bonfire Blue Valley Southwest Bonfire

A bonfire for the ages.

So, the Principal wants a bonfire for the ages. Who do you call to tackle this task? A Dad. No! You need multiple dads. Ask any dad if they love to burn things. Of course, almost as much as grilling and their kids. The Blue Valley Southwest Father’s Club stepped up to make this annual tradition better.

After a year off, the Father’s Club sent out the call to the dads for anything that would burn and burn fast. We willingly gathered wood, built our burn pile, gathered torches and fuels, and lit up the night sky.

Blue Valley Southwest Bonfire Blue Valley Southwest Bonfire

It is a simple ask with a big impact.

We get to play a part in making HOCO memorable for our kids, strengthening our community, and building connections.

By making ourselves available, these simple asks allow the dads to connect with the students and staff, leading to more significant opportunities to leave a lasting impact.

P.S. Don’t tell Principal Roberts next year’s bonfire will be EPIC as in Texas A&M epic!

Blue Valley Southwest Bonfire Blue Valley Southwest Bonfire