By Kathy Collins

Each year the Community Roundtable of Brandon sponsors the Father of the Year essay contest. The 2013 Father of the Year is Sean Allen of Valrico. Allen’s daughter, Sarah, wrote the winning essay. Sarah is a rising fifth grade student at Lithia Springs Elementary School in Valrico.

Sarah’s essay explained why her father is her hero. Sarah wrote” “My dad is my hero because he loves me and he is always there for me. My dad will not stop until everything is right. Sure he yells at me and gets mad at me but I love him and no other dad can replace him. He is still #1.”

Sean, the father of three girls said, “I was blown away. At first I thought it was a joke, but then I realized it was real.” Sean added. “It’s good to know that your kids think about you this way. It’s been a really neat experience. Sarah is really milking this!”

Sarah explained that her teacher, Ms. Hall, announced the contest and explained the rules, “So I decided to try it.” Sarah added, “I didn’t think I would win, but it was worth a try.”

The winner of the Father of the Year contest is bestowed with numerous gifts including a round of golf at Buckhorn Springs Golf and Country Club in Valrico. But according to Sarah, “My favorite prize was being able to ride in the 4th of July Parade.” Sarah added, “It was an awesome experience, and I had never been in a parade before.”

The Father of the Year contest essays are judged by members of the Community Roundtable for originality and content. Second Place in the Annual Father of the Year contest went to Elizabeth Rennert and her dad, Brian Rennert. Third place was awarded to Quentin Johnson and his dad, Eddie Johnson. This year all three winners just happened to be students at Lithia Springs Elementary School in Valrico.

The Community Roundtable is an organization that supports local non-profits and holds a variety of events throughout the year including the Father of the Year contest and the 4th of July Parade, the largest one in the state of Florida.

For more information on the Community Roundtable, please visit


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