1. Archive


Holly Browder praises her father's giving nature.
Published Jul. 2, 2010

As the annual Fourth of July parade hits the streets this weekend, one father-daughter duo will be a part of the summer tradition after winning over the hearts of the Community Roundtable.

Without her parents' knowledge, 9-year-old Holly Browder entered a short essay contest in an attempt to have her dad, Mark, crowned as Father of the Year. In about 50 words, kids explained why their dads are their heroes.

Holly's parents didn't find out about the contest until someone from the roundtable, which organizes the parade, called to say she won.

"For three days, she was just like on cloud nine around here," her mom, Shelly, said.

Holly said she didn't expect to win, but figured she "may as well try." Along with riding on the roundtable's float in the parade, Mark, 43, who works for the U.S. Postal Service, gets an array of prizes that include a round of golf for four, tickets to a Rays game and a family portrait.

The second- and third-place finishers also take home gifts. Here are the top three entries, printed as written.

* * *

First place

Holly Browder, 9,

Boyette Springs Elementary

My dad is special because he always gives to others in need. Even though my family is not very fourtunate somehow we make it all work. The reason why you should pick my dad is because I have not seen a true smile on his face in so long.

* * *

Second place

Cristina Delvescovo, 10,

Boyette Springs Elementary

Some special reasons my dad Arthur is my hero is because he cheers people up by telling jokes in the hard times like when he lost his job. Also my dad is always there for me know matter what. Thoes are the special reasons my dad is my hero.

* * *

Third place

Caitlyn Rothenbush, 9,

Symmes Elementary

My hero is my dad because he's always there to pick me up and dust me off. Like this one time at my volleyball game. I was struggling but when my dad walked in he sat me up and whispered "I believe in you!" After those four words I was rocken out my game!

* * *

If you go

Local festivities

Brandon's annual Fourth of July parade takes place in the evening this year, after more than 25 years of holding it during the day. The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Brandon Parkway and Lakewood Drive. The route goes north on Lakewood, turns east on Oakfield Drive and finishes just before Buckingham Place.

After the parade, you can catch a fireworks show, put on by the Brandon Community Foundation, at the Westfield Brandon mall. The show is part of the Brandon Blast festival, which takes place from 4 to 9 p.m.