Tomlin to host All-Pro Dad

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin will once again host the hhgregg All Pro Dad Father & Kids Experience on Saturday, June 25 at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex.

Tomlin, a spokesman for All Pro Dad, will be on hand along with former center Jeff Hartings, sharing their message about the importance of fatherhood.

The event, which runs from 9 a.m.-12 noon, includes football themed drills in the indoor practice facility that focuses on dads becoming better fathers, while enjoying quality time with their kids.

"It's awesome, just seeing the faces, watching the activities," said Tomlin. "There are different things at each station that you try to get done, but the best part of the event is there are some stations where it's just giving hugs and saying 'I love you.' For some people that might not be much, but different people express themselves in different ways. It's fun to see people give hugs and say I love you who don't normally do that. It's fun to watch those exchanges and those barriers get broken down.

"It's one of the lasting images I always remember from the event, the hugs and the saying I love you that happen."

Tomlin has a special place in his heart for the surrogate dads who take part in the event, whether they are a stepdad, uncle or any type of strong male role model who is there for the kids. Tomlin himself was raised by Leslie Copeland, a man who technically is his stepfather – but to Tomlin will always be dad.

"To me, more important than anything, the longer I do it the more I am into the uplifting and encouraging of the surrogate fathers, the stepfathers, the grandfathers, the uncles and so forth that take time to fill that father role," said Tomlin. "I think it's important that kids have a prominent male in their life. It doesn't have to be a biological father.

"I am the product of a stepfather family. My stepdad was my dad. He coached my little league baseball teams, was there for me and provided me the things I wasn't able to get. The longer I do this, the more I see it with greater clarity. I just want to encourage the surrogate fathers and just lift them up and recognize them for what it is they are doing and encourage them to continue to do it."

Registration is now open for the event for only $15 for one adult and up to four children. You must register in advance, and the event is recommended for children five and older.

To register visit All Pro Dad.

The 2011 All Pro Dad *Father & Kids Experience *is sponsored by hhgregg, FedEx Ground, Giant Eagle, Bombardier, UPMC Sports Medicine, and media partners Comcast, KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and 102.5 WDVE.

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