When two stray bullets shattered one of the windows at School 61, Leonard (Lenny) Lane and a group of neighborhood men went into action , mobilized, and formed the F.A.T.H.E.R.S. Group which stands for Fathers Armed Together to Help Education, Restore and Save Lives. Their primary purpose was the children’s safety.
That was 20 years ago.
On August 30 they celebrated their milestone anniversary at the Johnny B. Wiley Stadium, where they were honored for their work in the community.
Over the years they’ve taken their volunteer efforts inside the school as well making sure students are fed and acting as mentors. They have also been responsible for helping to bring about physical changes linked to safety like a new traffic light on Leroy and a crosswalk. Most recently they have advocated for new school one cameras – just another tool to keep the children safe says co-founder Lane.
The F.A.T.H.E.R.S. are also an active part of the Peacemakers coalition of anti-violence community-based organizations.
Their “Toys for Tots” free Christmas toy give away and celebration has been highly successful over the years and is widely supported by area businesses, individuals, churches, and civic organizations. In addition, they have helped thousands of young people through back-to-school giveaways; job fares; Unity Weekends; Dog Days of Summer; Read to Succeed; an escort service at the Galleria Mall; and the continued support and protection of our community’s most vulnerable assets, our children.
Co-founder and retired Fire Fighter Lane has served as president since the group’s inception. Under his leadership, the F.A.T.H.E.R.S. has received numerous prestigious awards for their diligence, sacrifice, and volunteer hours in the community.
Congratulations F.A.T.H.E.R.S. on a job well done!