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“One of the greatest challenges faced by our state, and our nation, is fatherlessness in the home. The one common denominator of many of society’s ills‐‐ human trafficking, rape, murder, alcoholism, teen suicide, and incarceration‐‐ can be traced to absentee fathers. The statistics are overwhelming,” said Joe Pellegrino, Founder & President of Legacy Minded Men.

To help address these issues, two New Jersey men, entrepreneur Joe Pellegrino and veteran broadcaster Joe Battaglia, have launched a movement, That’s My Dad Movement, which is sponsored by Atlantic Stewardship Bank, to combat the statistics by working to encourage men to step up and assume their role as fathers to help their children build and live successful lives.

Photo Caption: Bill Clement, Chief Lending Officer at Atlantic Stewardship Bank, is celebrating his father, John Clement, who is his hero & mentor in honor of D-Day, Father’s Day this month & the #thatsmydadmovement. Mr. John Clement, 99 years young, served our country & D-Day was the final act of his World War II campaign.

Through workshops, conferences and Legacy Groups, Pellegrino, a long time Wayne resident, is having success with his desire to encourage men to step up as fathers through the That’s My Dad Movement and his organization Legacy Minded Men. According to Pellegrino, the goal is “to identify the power of true fatherhood and the difference it makes in the lives of their children.”

“The lack of respect for fatherhood, Pellegrino states, “is best illustrated by a recent survey of holiday church attendance. At the bottom of the list was Father’s Day. As a matter of fact, MOST people no longer can even tell you when Father’s Day is! Why has this once welcomed day to honor fathers become little more than a footnote to church attendance or the evening news?”

For this Father’s Day, Pellegrino and Battaglia have embarked on a program to “honor the men who have shaped our lives.”  One of the simple ways in which to do that is with a sign on which someone writes the name of the man who most influenced their lives and proudly posts it on their lawn or in their social media.

That motto “to honor the men who have shaped our lives” has been embodied in their recently released book “That’s My Dad!” that looks at the impact of fathers in the lives of highly successful individuals.

“This book demonstrates the power of true fatherhood and the difference a good father figure can make in our lives−and in the world”, states Battaglia, an Oakland resident. To exemplify this point, the authors look at father models, both positive and negative, that helped to shape the lives of successful men and women in the competitive worlds of media, arts and entertainment, and professional sports. “We were interested in identifying the father models that help shape the role models of today,” Battaglia said. “We interviewed many great athletes, celebrities and business leaders to get their insights on what their dads did to guide them to be the people they are today.”

“We are blessed to be able to sponsor and participate in a movement that highlights the important role fathers and father figures play in shaping the lives of today’s generation and generations to come,” said Paul Van Ostenbridge, President and CEO of ASB. “My father has been a great mentor and inspiration in my life as well as in the lives of my children and grandchildren. I am proud to honor him and celebrate his influence as part of the #thatsmydadmovement and in recognition of Father’s Day this month.”

For more information on That’s My Dad movement, go to www.thatsmydadmovement.org

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