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father’s day

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The Fröms, from left, Cortney holding Atlys, Derick holding Rowan, Archer, Troy and Maddex, with Maricopa Ace Hardware owner Mike Richey. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson


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.”

Jase Leonard with his sons Caden and Jaxon, with Mike Richey. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

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!”

Jason and Andrea Foree with daughters Audra and Joy and Ace owner Mike Richey. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

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.”

Chris Marshall (submitted)

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.

Dustin LeMaster's dream of running a food truck was also his father's. Photo by Michelle Chance

Maricopa resident Dustin LeMaster’s “Tac-O-Bout It” food truck opened for business Wednesday afternoon on the southeast corner of John Wayne Parkway and Edison Road.

Opening day was years in the making.

After his mother passed away in 2012, LeMaster and his father decided to start a food truck business. Together they purchased a truck and worked for more than a year to rehab it.

A shop in Phoenix later took over for the father-son duo and completed the mobile kitchen transformation.

Then tragedy struck.

“The day before (the truck) was finished, we found out my dad had cancer,” LeMaster said. “He died eight days later.”

One month after his father’s passing, LeMaster lost his sister to an accidental overdose.

LeMaster cast his culinary aspirations on the back burner and eventually had a truck buyer on the line for $50,000.

“My wife talked me out of selling it and said, ‘This was you and your dad’s dream; Do it,’” LeMaster said.

Tac-O-Bout It hit the road May 30, nearly six years after the journey with his dad began.

The roadside eatery features street tacos, carne asada fries, grilled chicken and the “Big Boy Burrito.” The taco truck will be in the 99 Cents Only store parking lot Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

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Now through June 14, nominate your father by visiting Facebook.com/InMaricopa and posting a video and/or his photo on the contest post with a brief explanation of why he is the best. Readers will then vote for their favorites. The dad with the most “likes” will win.

The top three receive prize packages from Maricopa Ace Hardware, which is in its eighth year of sponsoring Best Dad in Maricopa.

First prize – A Traeger grill, grill cover, 3-piece grill tool set, hickory and mesquite pellets
Second prize – A Yeti Roadie
Third prize – A 30-ounce Yeti Tumbler and a 20-ounce Yeti Tumbler

Nominations must be no longer than 100 words or 60 seconds if video. Dads must be residents of Maricopa.

Winners will be notified on June 15 and will be announced on InMaricopa.com on Father’s Day, June 18.

Zack Park (center) was voted Best Dad in Maricopa in a Facebook contest sponsored by InMaricopa and Maricopa Ace Hardware, winning a grill package. With him are his family, wife Kim and kids Taylor and Cooper, InMaricopa's Vincent Manfredi and Ace's Troy Ricci. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Zack Park came a bit late to fatherhood. In fact, he wasn’t much interested in it for the first 28 years of his life.

Now he has been voted the Best Dad in Maricopa, thanks to a serious online campaign by his 10-year-old son Cooper that was picked up by friends, family and colleagues across the globe. The contest ran on InMaricopa’s Facebook page and drew 25 nominations.

In the final days, Park was in a neck-and-neck, friendly battle with Matt Lincoln, ultimately garnering 344 “likes” to win a Traeger grill with a cover and wood pellets from Maricopa Ace Hardware.

“It’s awesome,” Park said. “I tried to keep [the nomination] on the down-low. ‘What are you people talking about?’”

Instead, his nomination was even Down Under, with likes coming from as far away as Australia. The Parks, it turns out, have a wide fanbase.

Zack and Kim Park have been married 11 years and are the parents of Cooper and 8-year-old Taylor.

“When I first met her, I never wanted kids,” Park said. “But after having these kids, I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

In nominating his dad, Cooper said, “He works all day in the hot sun and comes home and spends time with us. He makes sure we get to our sport events, tutoring, cheer and dance clubs on time and never misses a game. He is the best dad ever!”

“He works super-hard,” his daughter Taylor said.

“They keep us busy and keep us on our feet,” Park said. “I wouldn’t change it for anything,” he said again.

What they’re saying:

Stephen Joy He is a cool guy! Always there for his kids!

Casey Warner Zack is a pretty cool guy!

Stephanie Belanger Brown He’s an amazing dad!

Risa Shuman Zack’s got my vote for father of the year

Happy Father’s Day.

Matt Lincoln (far left) picks up his second-place prize from the Best Dad in Maricopa contest at Maricopa Ace Hardward. With him are (from left) daughter Talia, son Devin, son Nicholas, William Gonzalez and Troy Ricci of Ace, wife Yvette, son Matthew and son Jordan. Not pictured: Jeshuah Lincoln.

Among 25 outstanding nominees for Best Dad in Maricopa presented by Maricopa Ace Hardware, two ran away from the pack in online voting. Finishing in second place by just 16 “likes” on Facebook was Matt Lincoln.

The father of six, including two adopted children, holds down two full-time jobs, one in retail and one as the youth pastor over more than 100 kids at Church of Celebration. Lincoln said he was humbled by the support for his nomination, whch totaled 328 likes.

“It’s a blessing to even be considered for it,” he said. “That that many people actually voted and took the time to actually have an opinion about it is pretty amazing.”

Lincoln first became a father at the age of 19 when Matthew came into the world.

“It was life-changing,” Lincoln said. “I had to grow up really, really fast. I had to learn wisdom very, very quickly for survival. It’s probably the best thing that happened to me.”

He was nominated by wife Yvette and children Matthew, Jeshuah, Nicholas, Jordan, Devin and Talia.

“He leads, lives and loves wholeheartedly with the mindset of building up the next generation to succeed,” Yvette Lincoln said in her nomination. “He’s selfless, humble and he never gives up on anyone. He pushes through every battle.”

Matt Lincoln said his philosophy of fatherhood is “God first.”

“In order to be a great father, you have to learn from the creator of fatherhood, and that’s God,” he said. “So, I follow those principles, and that’s worked pretty well.”

Lincoln’s prize was an exterior paint project from Dun Edwards that included six 5-gallon buckets of paint, a 4-foot aluminum ladder, brushes, drop cloth, roller tray set and roller covers. The Lincoln family picked up their prize at Maricopa Ace Hardware on Friday. Yvette Lincoln said they recently received an HOA reminder that it was time to repaint the house.

Meet the winner

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Wipe your eyes when you cry,
And check under the bed when you’re scared.
They shelter you from all things unseen,
And protect you from things unclean.
Assists with school projects and run alongside while you learn to ride.
They frighten male callers from their daughters,
But cheer on female callers of their sons,
Father’s love with mysterious, hidden forces kept deep inside to protect their heart.
They accomplish so much by saying so little.
Stand by your side like the queen’s royal guard,
Never anticipating the day that you say “I want to be like you.”
They show their love by working hard, in an effort
To do better, be better, and offer better than they received.
We salute you and celebrate you every day on a” Job Well Done!”
Father’s Day is Every Day!
Adele is a life coach and therapist and a resident of Maricopa.


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To celebrate Father’s Day, InMaricopa.com and Maricopa Ace Hardware are joining forces to find out who is the Best Dad in Maricopa. And it’s all up to your votes.

Now through June 15, nominate your father by visiting Facebook.com/InMaricopa and posting a video and/or his photo on the contest post with a brief explanation of why he is the best. Readers will then vote for their favorites. The dad with the most “likes” will win.

The winning dad will get a choice of a $499 Treager grill with cover, two bags of wood pellets or a complete exterior paint project from Dunn Edwards inclusive of six 5-gallon buckets of paint, 4-foot aluminum ladder, “cut-in” brushes, drop cloth, roller tray set and roller covers.

“We’ve been doing this since 2012, so were very happy to be doing it again this year,” Maricopa Ace owner Mike Richey said.

Nominations must be no longer than 100 words or 60 seconds if video. Dads must be residents of Maricopa.

Winners will be notified on June 16 and will be announced on InMaricopa.com on Father’s Day, June 18.