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John and Lizzie Tisch
John and Lizzie Tisch
Jon Tisch and Chris Matthews
Jon Tisch and Chris Matthews
Rob Wunder and his son Rob with Chris Matthews
Rob Wunder and his son Rob with Chris Matthews
FATHERS DAY COUNCIL
Fathers Of The Year
Get Their Due Rewards

W
HEN the National Fatherís Day Council selected Jonathan Tisch to receive a Father of the Year Award, he overheard his three children asking, "Did we get to vote on this?"

Tisch, co-chairman of Loews Corporation and CEO of Loews Hotels, joined five other distinguished gentlemen at the 68th annual at the New York Sheraton, including Ronald Wurtzburger, Duke University basketball coach Michael Krzyzewski, ABC journalist George Stephanopoulos, motor legend Al Unser, and Gen. David Petraeus who was detained in Washington by his commander in chief.

Tisch was on familiar ground at the Sheraton. He said he began his career in the hotel industry in 1968 when this was the Americana, a Loews property. "I started out behind the desk."

As president of Peerless Clothingóthe largest supplier of menswear on the continent, among them Calvin Klein, Chaps, Donna Karan and Izodó Wurtzburger has his hands full. Yet he finds time to serve as co-chair of the menswear division of UJA and vice president of Park East Synagogue in New York.

Six years ago, after Wurtzburger was stricken with prostate cancer, he got involved in helping others suffering from the same disease.

"Your children see you working for good causes," he said, "and soon they do the same. Our grandchildren now do the same. They gave their bar mitzvah money to children in need. I wish my parents could see how their guidance enabled three generations to work for charity."

MSNBC journalist Chris Matthew, who emceed the awards ceremony, said in his family his wife makes the small decisions, like where to live, what school to send the kids to. "I make the big decisions, like whether to invade Iraq and Afghanistan."

The National Fatherís Day Committee, along with Menís Health magazine and the Sani Family Foundation, honored Rob Wunder with the 2009 Ashok C. Sani All-Star Dad Award.

After teaching physical education to handicapped students for more than two decades, Rob found himself with a disabled child of his own. His son, also named Rob, dived into a swimming pool and shattered his c5 vertebrae, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. But he still graduated from high school and enrolled at Temple University.

The father moved into his sonís dormitory to become his roommate and caregiver. His wife Sue and daughter Hailey, 15, have adjusted to their empty nest in New Jersey as their "boys" attend college together.

The Fathers Day event also benefited the Save the Childrenís U.S. Programs which provide literacy and nutrition programs in underserved areas. The initiative is under the direction of Mark Shriver. Information at www.savethechildren.org.


 
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