During Dads Weekend on Nov 14-16 2014, the Illini Dads Association crowned Mr. Christopher Downes of Floral Park, NY as “King Dad.”
In addition to his success as a trial lawyer, Mr. Downes devotes himself to numerous community activities and philanthropic causes. Mr. Downes is Chairman of his town’s zoning board of appeals, and is active in other community organizations. A longtime volunteer working with organizations that promote activities and opportunities for children with disabilities, Mr. Downes has served as a coach in Challenger Baseball and Basketball programs for many years. Mr. Downes is also one of the founders of a charitable event that provides money for therapeutic programs for disabled children.
Mr. Downes has a daughter Kathleen attending the University of Illinois, where she is currently a senior studying Community Health, focusing on Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. She plans to attend graduate school and to become an advocate for people with disabilities. Kathleen’s essay on “What My Dad Means To Me” was selected as the winning entry from among the numerous applications and essays received by the Dads Association.
This is an excerpt from Kathleen’s winning essay: “…My dad is the greatest man I will ever know. He is the most loving, generous, kind person anyone could hope to meet, and he treats his role as my father as the best job in the world. Even though he works long ten to twelve hour days, often six days a week, he never complains; he usually comes home singing…”
King Downes was crowned at the Friday night Dads Welcome reception, and again on the football field during the Illinois vs. Iowa Dads Day” football game. King Downes was also invited to attend the football game in the President’s luxury suite.
King Dad finalists included runners up Greg Jarman of Crestwood Illinois (nominated by his daughter Hannah Jarman, a sophomore in Global Studies) and Steve Sarrusi (nominated by his daughter Kelley Sarussi, a junior in Economics).
Congratulations to all of the many Dads who were honored to be nominated for this prestigious award!