Dads and their kids engage in activities on the field at Raymond James during the All Pro Dad Experience.

All Pro Dad, a Tampa-based nonprofit, has completed yet another successful event, this time on March 25 at Raymond James Stadium. The sold-out All Pro Dad Experience event had over 1,000 dads and their kids in attendance. Attendees were able to engage in a variety of football-oriented activities from the start at 9 a.m. until the event ended at 12 Noon. There were football drills as well as tickle-tackle and touchdown dancing available across the field; plenty of laughter and smiles were also had.

While All Pro Dad might have started in Tampa, where it operates to this day, it has extended far across the nation, as there are now over 1,000 All Pro Dad chapters across over 40 states. This growth has allowed founder Mark Merrill to impact thousands of children and dads across the country.

“Over 20 years ago, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy and I founded All Pro Dad. With the mission to help fathers love and lead their families well, All Pro Dad offers resources, training and events. We believe a great way to help fathers become even better leaders in their families is by dedicating one minute a day, one hour a month and one day a year to this goal,” Merrill said.

With increasingly large national operations, All Pro Dad continues to maintain a strong presence in the Tampa area, having 62 active chapters within Hillsborough County. These chapters have ingrained themselves within the culture of the schools and engage with the dads and kids in several ways, one of which is the breakfast program. Through this program, dads are able to have breakfast at school with their children, which in turn helps build their relationship through one-on-one time and camaraderie with other dads and children. Attendance at these events can reach up to 200 dads and kids.

All Pro Dad has recently developed multiple new programs to help foster healthy relationships between dads and their children. One of these is a national curriculum for middle and high schools that allows for the All Pro Dad message to effectively reach all ages. An additional program, Serve, gives dads the opportunity to volunteer at the school to allow teachers and administrators to focus on what they do best: helping to provide the best educational environment for the kids. This could be anything from operating the car line in the mornings to lunch assistance, or any other applicable school need.

Through its numerous programs and extensive outreach, All Pro Dad is making a positive impact among youths and hopes to continue to do so in larger and larger ways. For more information, visit its website at or its Facebook page, All Pro Dad.

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