Real Men Cook’s 2017 Father’s Day Celebration to Build on 2016 Success by Continuing With Multiple Locations
Real Men Cook – Chicago’s premiere urban Father’s Day charity event – will build on the success of the 2016 multiple-location format by hosting the event at the same citywide and suburban sites this year and by adding more venues. These individual celebrations are hosted by agencies and entities committed to the Real Men Charities, Inc. mission, to build healthy families and communities. Now in its 28th year, Real Men Cook will be held on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 18 from 3PM to 6PM.
In making the announcement, Ayinde Cartman, executive director of Real Men Cook, the presenting nonprofit, stated that pivoting from the original concept of hosting the celebration at one site and expanding it in 2016 was a platform they were unsure the public would accept. However, the reception to hosting Real Men Cook at various sites in diverse neighborhoods was so overwhelmingly positive that every site will return in 2017 to host. Inspired by this success, other outlets/organizations have requested to be included. Once vetted to see if their missions support Real Men Cook, they expect more sites to be added to the roster.
“We are delighted that the new format was embraced. We will build on the success, thanks to the positive responses,” Rael Jackson, long-time Real Men Cook director, declared.
Jackson added that the multi-location celebration allowed Real Men Cook to involve many more men from different communities, thereby broadening the message, reaching and involving more men while maintaining the Father’s Day tradition. At the same time, each hosting location incorporates their own style and traditions into their celebrations. They will also determine entry fees.
Explained Cartman, “All my life these men of Real Men Cook have devoted countless volunteer hours and resources to cook their favorite dishes and serve. This new format allows them to serve the community most dear to them. The overarching goal is to influence young men to serve and grow their families and communities throughout the year.”
Cartman revealed that a popular feature will be added to this year’s celebrations. “As an organization, we’ve only recognized one Father of the Year and that was our 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. This year each site will honor a Father or Father/Son team who live up to the spirit of Real Men Cook, and incorporate the administration’s Fatherhood Pledge in the recognition.”
The events will continue an added Real Men Charities, Inc. tradition of promoting health and wellness, prevention and awareness for families and children. Accordingly, in addition to traditional celebration dishes to sample, each locale will offer men serving healthy foods, and broadcasting the message that every day food selections can help to prevent disease.
Cartman believes the newly-revamped event represents the continuation of a broader Movement. “Life is about change,” he declared, “and localizing and expanding the event’s reach is a way of keeping the healthy families, good men Movement vibrant and engaging every segment of our community. We are encouraged and humbled that there was such an outpouring of love to the new format and are heartened that the same locations will return. This is proof of the success and growing success of this model, and the response from young dads and new men interested in being among our volunteer cooks has been more than encouraging.”
Celebrities, media personalities, ministers, politicians, entertainers, athletes, local community leaders, chefs and everyday hard-working fathers will participate as part of their resolve to uplift the family and defy the negative images often depicted in the media.
The expanded format will be held at sites citywide, in suburban Chicago and Gary, Indiana. In these individual sites, men serve in churches, fraternity houses, homeless shelters, their blocks, backyards, homes and parks. At each location, they will demonstrate that Real Men Cook, Love, Work and Care.
Among the organizations that participated in 2016 and will return this year include:
BBF Family Services on Chicago’s west side, D.A.D.D.Y – (
Developing A Dedicated Driven Youth), Endeleo Institute – Men of Trinity Church, Fathers and Blessings, which brings together several Chicago south suburban towns, Mosque Maryam, Regal Theater, Hales Franciscan High School, and Trinity United Church of Christ in Gary, Indiana.
Many private Real Men Cook events are also held on Father’s Day throughout the city, but are not open to the public.
Real Men Cook is the largest, longest-running and most-anticipated Father’s Day celebration of its kind. It provides a platform where “real men” from all walks of life give up Father’s Day pampering to work and be celebrated for demonstrating extraordinary commitment to their families and to their communities. In keeping with Real Men Cook’s core mission.
Some of the high-profile men who have donned a chef’s hat and participated in the past include U.S. Senator Barack Obama, Congressmen Danny Davis, Congressman John Conyers, and John Lewis. Senate President Emil Jones and his son Senator Emil Jones and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. and his sons, former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Professor Jonathan Jackson. Most recently two-time Grammy Winner, Che “Rhymefest” Smith and actors Mel Jackson, Anthony Anderson have also joined in the celebrations.
In this new format, guests choose the event location they prefer. Those who opt to attend multiple celebrations will witness the different flavors and styles while seeing the same commitment to promoting fathers and family that has been at the heart of Real Men Cook.
For more information, visit
www.realmencook.com. Men interested in volunteering to star and cooks, donating their time and resources on Father’s Day, may contact Ayinde Cartman at AyindeCartman@gmail.com or Lafayette Ford at LafayetteFord@gmail.com or call 773-484-0624.