Before they were fathers, they were friends.
Growing up in Staten Island, New York, the Five Fathers became friends while attending Monsignor Farrell High School. They did everything most friends did – hang out, play ball, go to movies – but they also found an interest in service to the community. After graduation, the five remained close despite attending colleges in different cities and moving to various locations away from home. Years later, the group endured many life changes – most notably having ten very beautiful children of their own. The five friends had become fathers, and their friendship grew because of it.
In 2011, one of the fathers dealt with a difficult time when his son was diagnosed with leukemia. (Read more about One Father’s Journey here.) While this was obviously a trying time for the Lenza family, it affected all of the friends deeply for they each considered one another family. A year later, Hurricane Sandy unleashed its fury throughout New Jersey and New York, crippling much of the neighborhood where the friends grew up. They returned home to lend a hand where needed alongside so many other helpful volunteers.
Being together again for something other than the regular family barbeques and birthday parties was something that felt very right. After that time, the idea for the Five Fathers came together. There are so many people who are in need of financial support, and there are so many people who just need a helping hand.
Who better to do that than a dad? If your dad ever fixed something you broke, bought something you needed, stayed up late to help you finish a school project, gave up his every waking moment to drive you around, or gave you the last dollar from his wallet – you know what we mean.