Father’s Day Tribute to Dads for Daughters
A Letter to John Ikard, WFCO trustee, from his three daughters
At a Dads for Daughters event in 2018, Amanda Ikard and her sisters shared their gratitude for their father, WFCO Trustee John Ikard. They have given us permission to share their letter about their dad’s lifelong commitment to a world where women and men have the same opportunities to reach their full potential. On this Father’s Day, WFCO would also like to thank John and all the dads for daughters and men for women who stand in solidarity with us.
Our dad empowered us as we tried to find our place in the world
From the time that we were very little, we remember our dad empowering us as we tried to find our place in the world. He invested his own time and energy to encourage us to take on leadership roles from a young age. When one of us ran for president of student government in fifth grade, he helped write a speech and draft posters. And, whether it was captain of our recreation soccer team or participation in math Olympiads, he acknowledged the importance of our activities and recognized what our accomplishments meant to us as despite the magnitude of stress and commitments he was probably facing from outside our family-world.
Over twenty years later, those gestures have left a lasting impression on the three of us that he wanted his daughters to have the opportunity to achieve success. He demonstrated that there are men advocating for and supporting women to be leaders.
Our dad has consistently been a huge influence and amazing role model in our lives
Since we were young, he engaged us in programs that align with the mission of Dad for Daughters in the community like participation in Indian Guides and Princesses through our local YMCA.
Each year at the annual banquet, the song “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle would play and the last verse when the daughter asks her father to walk her down the aisle would always bring him to tears.
When our mom needed a break from taking care of the kids, our dad would bring us into work with him on a Saturday and convince us all that we had to hide from the security cameras at the bank the entire time or they would think we’re trying to steal money.
And on our birthdays, we had a thing called “date night” where it was just you and dad for dinner and an activity. Growing up in a household with four children makes alone time with dad extra special.
During those outings, he took the time to listen to us, even when it may have been painful, and show us that our voice was valuable and important. While he sometimes may look back since those same voices are now arguing with him over politics and making fun of the jeans he chooses to wear; he signified to us as young women that our voices could, and should, be heard.
We are proud of his commitment to advocate for women
We couldn’t be more proud of his involvement in The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and sharing that same support to young girls and families who may not have the same support or opportunities that we did from a strong male presence in our childhood. By investing his time and energy in supporting the safety and equitable opportunity among women through Dads for Daughters, he reinforces to us every day his commitment to serve as an advocate for women.
Dad, we love you so much and you continue to amaze us with your generosity and dedication to bettering a community which means each individual, man and woman, as a contributor. You are still one of our heroes, even though you no longer have to practice self-control by not stealing from the bank vault while at work, and though your little girls are now grown up and reaching that stage of the Butterfly Kisses song that always made you cry, the support you have given us throughout our whole life will have a lasting impact. That is something we will never grow out of.
Christina, Jenny, and Amanda