North Florida Father of the Year

Children in Tallahassee are weaving words of love explaining why their dad is the best around. Aljanel Cheeseborough is professing her love for the one man she holds closest to her heart, her stepfather.

“He is like my big Hershey kiss, I don't know what I'd do without him,” she says.

The two may not share the same blood, but they share a common bond; Aljanel is a young girl needing a father figure, Kenneth Durden, a blind man, needs a helping hand.

Together they complete each other. It's this father daughter relationship that's bringing attention to north Florida’s dads.Written essays from these children will deem one man Father of the Year.

“You see these big strong burley men that are reduced to tears when they hear what their kids wrote about them, it's very touching,” says Richard Albertson, a Celebration of Fatherhood organizer.

“He said he loved me so much that if I was lost he'd walk one thousand miles to find me” were the winning words written by 7-year-old Symphoni Libuid that set her father apart from the other four finalists, granting him the title of Father of the Year.

“This is really icing on the cake. What is most important was Symphoni's essay and how she feels about me, that's incredible,” says David Libuid, North Florida Father of the Year.

Over 12,000 students from across Florida wrote essays stating what their father means to them. Thirty-six were nominated in north Florida, and four were honored Monday.