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An 'All Star' Father's Day

Ben Taylor attended the Father of the Year Awards June 11 in New York City with his wife, Tiffany, and their children. Taylor's son Brad (left) wrote an essay that won his father the title of Ashok C. Sani All-Star Dad. Submitted photo

ROSEMOUNT — Twelve-year-old Brad Taylor thinks his dad, Ben, is pretty cool, an "All Star" even.

So much so that Taylor wrote an essay about his father that won him the title of "Ashok C. Sani All-Star Dad" and an all-expense paid trip to New York City for the family.

The award was presented by Esquire Magazine at the 77th annual Father of the Year Awards in New York City on June 11.

The event included a luncheon where Brad read aloud his tender essay that spoke of his dad being a volunteer firefighter and coach along with his day job of vice president of sales for the Western Great Lakes region of iHeartMedia Markets Group.

"My dad has to deal with so many things, but I know that I can always trust him to be by my side whenever I need it," Brad wrote.

Taylor knew his son had written an essay, but he had no idea that it was about him. In fact, the first time Taylor heard the essay was when he received a phone call from the nephew of Ashok C. Sani, telling him he had won the award.

The contest was held by the Father's Day Foundation and the whole purpose is to bring awareness to Father's Day and what it means to be a good dad.

Despite the grandiose ceremony, the most impactful aspect of the whole experience for Taylor was that his 12-year-old son had sat down and written an essay full of things he had hoped to be expressing to him as a father.

"As a parent you hope you're doing the right things and that they're picking up on things that you do," Taylor said. "It's cool to have your kid start to recognize the importance of working hard, giving back, being respectful — all of the things that were instilled in me."

Home from this once-in-a-lifetime experience, Taylor spent Father's Day doing typical dad things such as coaching a baseball tournament for his kid.

Behind all of the fanfare, that is what being a dad is all about.

As for tips on how to be an "All-Star Dad" Taylor said, "Just let your kids know that you love them every day."