By KATIE BEVAN
For students at Fairview Elementary 7:45 a.m. rolls around pretty early once a month. And though it might be hard to get up, especially in the colder months, motivation is strong.
Two words: dads and donuts.
“Eating donuts,” was the most common response heard when asking students about the best part of the morning. Quinten Busick, a first grader, was quickly agreed with the sentiment, and shared that his favorite kind of donut was “regular,” all while his hands clutched around one of the glazed treats.
Joining Quinten was his father, Larry Busick, who enjoyed not only the donuts, but also the time spent with his son.
“Just getting to hang out with him before school, it’s kind of a mini date,” Busick said. “I prefer Krispy Kreme, but a free donut’s not bad either.”
At another table sat dads Rick Wise and Tim Litteken, who shared more about the intention behind the gathering. Littekin said it was inspired by All Pro Dad, a national organization that encourages fathers to be more involved with their children.
Wise sat with daughter Hannah Wise, another first grader. She was happy “cause we get to eat with our dads”.
Rick Wise explained that most mornings the dads are given a question or story idea to stir up conversation with their kids. Today’s conversation was about the best Christmas or holiday the dads had ever had.
“I think the intention is trying to get them to interact in a way they won’t at home, to draw them out of their shell,” Rick Wise said.
“They feel like dads don’t interact with their kids as much,” Litteken said. “The dads here are always around, but that’s not always the case”.
His two sons Nick , a fourth grader, and Zach Litteken, a fifth grader, not only had donuts in hand, but little pink tickets.
The tickets were part of the drawing that takes place at each event.
Prizes on this particular morning included a handful of Slinkys, a couple bags, some notepads, and a seemingly endless supply of Silly Putty.
In a packed cafeteria of eager ticker holders, Hannah was the lucky winner of a stuffed Snoopy doll.
The prizes are supplied by dads and some of the businesses the dads work for, explained Rick Wesley, who also said that all the food is donated by Hy-Vee. He is one of three Fairview fathers that help set everything up, and got involved when a friend asked him to help.
“We have run out of stuff before, but that is pretty rare,” Wesley said, acknowledging that turnout for the event is always good — so good, in fact, that sometimes there are not enough seats for everyone.
Enthusiasm for the donuts, for the fatherly bonding time, and even for the prizes was surpassed by the excited responses to one question Wesley asked at the end of the program.
“Who’s ready for Christmas break?” echoed as a cafeteria full of sugar covered hands shot into the air.