With more than 40 fathers nominated as the Best Dad in Maricopa for Father’s Day, it took a lot of social media support to come out on top. In the case of the winner, it took enthusiastic support from military buddies to win the coveted prizes from Maricopa Ace Hardware.
Cortney Fröm nominated her husband Derick Fröm very late in the competition, which was based on InMaricopa’s Facebook page. But then she started sharing it. Within hours, Fröm had accumulated 400 and then 500 votes and more.
The win brought Fröm a new Traeger grill, pellets and accoutrements from Ace owner Mike Richey.
Fröm said he thought it was “cool” that his wife entered him in the contest but was “shocked” that he came out on top.
“I just didn’t think we were going to win, we entered so late,” he said.
In her nomination, Cortney Fröm stated, “We have five children, and he is pretty much super Dad. He does so much for his family and works so incredibly hard to make sure we are all taken care of. His love for all five of his children is amazing. Plus he’s a pretty great husband, too.”
Derick Fröm spent eight years in the Arizona Army National Guard. His continuing relationship with current and veteran service members, especially a group calling itself Drinkin Bros: Dads, was key to totaling nearly 600 “likes” on Cortney’s nomination.
The Fröms, who include Maddex, 9, Troy, 7, Archer, 3, Rowan, 2, and Atlys, 1, have lived in Maricopa just three months, moving from Mesa. Derick and Cortney have been together seven years and married three.
One person who voted for Derick Fröm, Philip Bateson, called him “a class act. Works himself to the bone for his fam. He’s a great coworker and a generally funny guy.”
Another supporter, James Layne, took it even further: “When Superman wakes up in the morning, he wants to be like this dad.”
Finishing in second place in the Best Dad contest was local Realtor Jase Leonard. He and his two sons, Caden, 10, and Jaxon 8, took home a Yeti cooler from Ace.
“There are a lot of dads that wear multiple hats in their family and that is no different in ours,” his wife Stacy Leonard wrote in her nomination. “We rely on this dad to take care of us and our home. He is our breadwinner, soccer dad, professional wrestler, joke teller, tickler, lunch maker, homework helper, sports lover, dog walker, breakfast maker. Like many, he loves his family more than life itself. He helps people every day by making their dreams come true at work. We don’t know where we would be without him to provide, love and take care of us.”
“It’s cool,” Jase Leonard said of being in the top three finishers. “We always try to do a lot in the community.”
The Leonards have lived in Maricopa for 12 years.
Kandi Crowe, who “liked” Leonard’s nominations, commented, “No surprise. I have known him 18 years and always knew he would be an awesome dad! Team Jace!”
There was a fierce battle for third place in the contest that went down to the wire. In the end, Jason Foree claimed the 30-ounce and 20-ounce tumblers.
A highway inspector by trade, Foree has been battling leukemia for the past year and is currently in remission.
“He’s always putting his family first,” his wife Andrea said. “Even when he first received the diagnosis, the first thing he said was, ‘What about my daughters?’”
The girls are Audra, 3, and Joy, 1.
Supporter Carlene Croonenberghs commented, “He has put his trust in God for the fight of his life. He is the father of two beautiful girls. The love between him and his wife Andrea is a testament to everyone who knows them. He is one of the strongest men I’ve ever known.”
Foree just edged out Chris Marshall. Marshall’s “likes” continued to come in even after the June 14 deadline.
In nominating him, Marshall’s wife Marlene said, “He works selflessly for us everyday. He is faithful, kind loving and the definition of strong all in one. He gives up his free time to help the youth in Maricopa and is active in our children’s school. He always finds time to teach, pray and play everything from sports, Nurf guns, bowling – our kiddos simply adore him, I adore him. He is the greatest man I know.”
All of the top four finishers received more than 100 likes.
See all of the great Father’s Days tributes among the nominations at https://bit.ly/2t3MoJD.