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Dads celebrated for year-round contributions

By Chris Michlewicz; photos courtesy of Dads of Castle Rock

Photo of Dads of Castle Rock

Dads of Castle Rock founder Robert Zearing (center) began organizing volunteer-based community outreach efforts in July 2019. The group now has 2,267 members and supporters on Facebook.

A grassroots group of philanthropic Castle Rock dads is being celebrated on more than just Father’s Day for its well-earned reputation for making a difference in the community.

The Dads of Castle Rock (DoCR), a community outreach organization with a Facebook following of 2,267 people and counting, plans out ways during monthly meetings to help pitch in where it’s needed.

In March, at the height of a massive blizzard that buried the Front Range in snow, Brad Langerak, vice president of DoCR, was contacted by a ranch owner who was desperate for help rescuing his horse, which was stranded in snow up to its neck on the north end of Castle Rock. In less than an hour, the dads responded, powering through the blizzard to meet up with the ranch owner. Another rancher used his small tractor to clear a path, and they spent the next seven hours shoveling snow away from the freezing horse, which fully recovered.

The DoCR built yurt platforms and swing structures as part of Williams World Village, where young adults with special needs have access to gardening, animals and outdoor activities. The village was planned by Williams World of Autism, a Larkspur-based nonprofit that connects families with caregivers for those with special needs. The organization said it “couldn’t ask for a better group to help us reach our dream of opening a day program for young adults with disabilities.”

Photo of Dads of Castle Rock who build yurts for Williams World Village for

Dads of Castle Rock, a volunteer community outreach group, built yurts and swing sets for Williams World Village, a Larkspur-based nonprofit where young adults with special needs have access to gardening, animals and outdoor activities.

The DoCR recently adopted a stretch of State Highway 86 and posted on its Facebook page about a recent roadside cleanup. It also delivered about 30 large garbage bags full of donated clothes in March to the Help & Hope Center in Castle Rock, and raised $25,000 to modify a cargo trailer for a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty. There are no limitations to the causes to which DoCR contributes its time, and it has inspired a spinoff group called the Wives of Dads of Castle Rock.

The volunteer-based DoCR got its start in July 2019 when founder Robert Zearing and a half-dozen other dads heard about the Moms of Castle Rock and jokingly said they should start their own organization. Within a month, DoCR had roughly 500 members.

“In the beginning we had to actively seek out causes. We’d hear of someone in need, and jump on it,” Zearing said. “These days, it’s not uncommon to get reached out to daily, which is easier, but it also just shows how much folks are in need these days, which is shocking to a lot of people.”

Funded by charity events and private donations, the group has attracted men from all walks of life. “We have every kind of member that you can think of,” Zearing said. “We have dads of every faith, every political belief and every race. We really are a well-rounded group.”

The group holds about a dozen major events a year, participates in a few projects, and performs many side deeds a month, “even if it’s just a single mom who needs help moving,” he said.

For more information about joining, visit www.docrco.org or the Dads of Castle Rock Community Outreach Facebook page.

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