2017 Best NOLA Dad Finalists

2017 Best NOLA Dad Finalists

We received some amazing submissions for this year’s Best NOLA Dad campaign … nominated by wives, fiancés, daughters, sons, sisters, and friends … all who have made a difference in the lives of others and who motivate and inspire those around them. It was a very difficult task, and we really wish we could name everyone nominated Best NOLA Dad, but we were finally able to narrow the nominations down to the top 10 finalists.

A team of objective judges will determine the Best NOLA Dad from the top 10 finalists below, and the winner will be announced on Saturday, June 17th!

2017 Best NOLA Dad

The Top 10 Finalists

Michael Laxton

{Nominated by :: Lauren Laxton} My husband, Mike Laxton certainly deserves to win as he gives his everything to our two young children daily. From the first day with both of our preemie babies, he has been there to make sure our children never go without their father or the quality time they deserve. He coaches our son’s soccer team just to have more time with him and he actually loves doing it! The smile on his face on the soccer pitch makes my heart happy. Both my husband and my son come home so proud of what they have accomplished on the field that day. He makes sure to go outside to play in the dirt, ride bikes, catch bugs, and whatever other “dude stuff” our son requests. Every chore he does, he finds a way to incorporate our son to make him feel special and needed. He stops whatever he is doing to cater to our children. Our newest daughter demands his time as well, and he helps and loves her whenever she coos to him. He melts like butter in her arms. He never hesitates to change the stinky diapers or make the bottles late at night. I can always rely on him to be my rock and my partner. He keeps me grounded and sane, which I think is another unspoken quality necessary in a husband. He makes it easier for me to be a great mom. People may look at him and think he isn’t doing something groundbreaking or extraordinary with his life, but his attention to our family is greater than any financial success or achievements. He understands that we may not be the biggest and the best and he is perfectly content with that. He makes sure that our family wants for nothing. Just having us together and healthy is his greatest pride and achievement. He is just a stand up guy, among many great dads but I know it would truly brighten his day to be admired for the hard work he does without hesitation. I love him dearly and I know our children do too, even when he turns off Paw Patrol before our son is “sleepy enough to go to bed.”

Derek May

{Nominated by :: Diana May} My husband is a trooper! I am expecting my 3rd baby and first son with him. We’ve had our babies so close together. Our oldest is a girl, and will be 2 next month, our second is also a girl and will be a year on the 21st. This 3rd baby is due in 4 weeks and has a condition called CCAM/CPAM. Its a mass that has grown on his lung and also has displaced his heart. I have been to weekly ultrasounds since we found out at 20 weeks. I am now 36 weeks. It has been one big emotional roller coaster to say the least. This man has never complained about having our babies so close together. I have never seen a father so dedicated. He comes home from work exhausted and immediately dives into his daddy role. He helps me bathe our girls, plays with them, gets them ready for bed, puts them in bed, cleans cloth diapers, etc. At night, when the girls are asleep, he takes care of me and our unborn son doing whatever it takes to make us feel better and comfortable. He has been an amazing support system through my emotional and difficult pregnancy while still being an amazing dad to our girls. He truly takes the time to make us all feel so loved and works so hard to provide for us all. We don’t know what we would do without him!

Tim Baudier

{Nominated by :: Holly Baudier} I’m sure you get nominations from wives stating how amazing of a father their husband is, but let me give you a glimpse into my world. We have been married 10 years in July. For 4 years we dreamed of having children. On a mission trip to Costa Rica, we visited an orphanage and our hearts both longed to be parents. We decided to foster and attempt IVF. The week we implanted our first embryo, we got the most amazing 9month old girl. Our lives changed in the blink of an eye. We got a double portion and began the wild ride called parenthood. Fast track to this week. Our birth baby is 9 weeks and our 19-month-old foster baby that we’ve had for a year is headed home to her birth mother for the first time ever. Tim has been the only father she has known and has loved her as his own. Being a foster father is hard yet rewarding at the same time. When they go home, it feels like the loss of a child. Writing their day to day schedule feels like you are preparing for your own death at the same time. NOLA needs more fathers who are willing to risk heartbreak in order to give a child stability. He is kind, loving, and brave. He loves unconditionally. He works hard to provide a safe home for children that may not have ever felt safe. He has stepped up and played the role of father when he could say no because it is just too hard. He puts his feelings aside on a daily basis to love his children equally. So as I write this, I know that Tim is one of the best out there.

Kermit Smith

{Nominated by :: Patrice Hammond} My husband deserves to win this award because he’s the best man I know. He works two jobs to provide for our family, makes us breakfast in bed on the weekends, and does the laundry (definitely a keeper). He mentors the city’s youth by coaching an AAU basketball team of 10 year old boys. He’s selfless and never complains. He’s the father I prayed my child would have. He is love.

Will Bradshaw

{Nominated by :: Rebekah Bradshaw} I got pregnant unexpectedly while we were both poor and in grad school. Will had also just started his company, Green Cpast Enterprises, and I was teaching full time. Right when we found out, I kept saying, “I’m so sorry!” Will took me by the shoulders and said, with tears in his eyes, “I’m not! Please don’t ever say that again.” Will is the founder and president of a sustainable real estate company called Green Coast Enterprises. They built houses for Katrina victims in Gentilly, they take crumbling buildings in run down areas and breathe life into the city. They restore historic properties than have been long forgotten. He works SO MUCH, but it’s all for the greater good. He coaches both of our kids in two separate Carrollton Boosters leagues at the same time. This past basketball season, he wrote a paragraph to each kid after each game about their performance and encouraged them to work on specific things. The other parents were amazed. No one knew how he remembered it all, but he did. His parents live in Austin, TX, and his mother is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s. He calls her at least once a week and makes sure the kids talk to their grandparents a lot. He is an active member of First Grace United Methodist Church, he is an adjunct lecturer at Tulane, and he is a member of a Crescent City Soccer team. He supports my extra-curricular activities, Pussyfooters and tap dance classes, so that I can maintain my sanity and be a happy mother. Our kids have never missed Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest because he knows how important those things are to growing up in New Orleans. We have four rescue dogs. He took one look at the fourth one’s picture on Facebook and started to cry. The last thing we needed was a fourth broken, used dog, but he knew that she belonged with us and he did not hesitate to help save her life. I never, ever do the dishes. He does the dishes EVERY SINGLE DAY. I teach English. I work with books and kids all day. He reads with the kids every night at bed time so I can just listen peacefully.

Joshua Harris

{Nominated by :: LaRaye Harris} Joshua and I have three sets of twins. Our oldest son and daughter are 3, born in January 2014. The middle girls are 2 born on April Fool’s Day 2015, by Joshua’s request. The youngest boys were born at Touro in December 2016. We have lived in NOLA for 1 1/2 years while Joshua has attended Leavell College at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He will graduate with his Associate’s Degree in December 2017. Joshua was diagnosed with ADHD at age 4 then with Bipolar type I at age 16. School was always a struggle for Joshua because of mental illness, so receiving his Associate degree will be a major accomplishment, especially having done so with 6 kids at home. Joshua has recently taken each of our (older) kids on a “date” which made each of them feel very special and more than just part of a pair. Joshua is always willing to share food, cash, prayer, and encouragement to the homeless. Once he even helped someone get to San Antonio to a secured job on their journey to escape drug addiction. He never expects anything in return. We may not have lived here long, but Joshua surely has left his mark on New Orleans. He currently works as an Uber driver and enjoys getting to know and encourage the citizens and tourists he escorts. People often look at me like some sort of hero yet overlook my husband for the awesome TwinDad that he is. That’s why I decided to honor him with this nomination.

Danny Kadar

{Nominated by :: Ann Mahoney Kadar} I work out of town quite a bit as an actress. When I started booking more work, I got very concerned about the burden it would put on my husband. With tears in his eyes he held my hands and said, “Baby, this is what we signed on for. I am so proud of you.” He sends me pictures of him snuggling with our 2 kids in the morning, taking them to the park, cooking them great dinners, and he doesn’t complain. All this, while working his full-time job at the Old US Mint. As our daughter says, “Dada, you’re a hero!”

Joshua Bruno

{Nominated by :: Numerous Family & Friends} Joshua would do anything for his precious twins including moving across the country for 1/2 the year just so one of then can be at one of the best hospitals for children in the country and remain there through recovery- for multiple surgeries/rehab (they’ve been dealing with her health issues since birth and hopefully only one more surgery). Day in and day out, he shows those beautiful girls what life is and what a Dad should do/be and goes above and beyond. Joshua plays the role of Mother and Father and does an amazing job doing it and NEVER blinks an eye. Joshua also owns/operates a very successful real estate development group all the while never missing a beat with his two very active little ladies. Joshua deserves this award and a lifetime of success, health & plenty of joy!

Arthur Laurent

{Nominated by :: Angele Laurent & Jordan Guerin} He deserves to win the best dad award because he’s the best dad there is. This man raised 5 kids (2 boys and 3 girls) and not only did he raise his own children but he also helped my single mother raise her 4 children. As a kid, I’d call him daddy because my dad was never around and he was And still is a dad figure to me. All of my friends from elementary school to high school absolutely adore how old he is and how he never gives up on anyone or anything thing, he fights for what he wants, and will help others fight for what they want. He was a Navy engineer, a dad, and a papaw all at the same time. If it wasn’t for my papaw, I wouldn’t be where I am today. He was my tutor in school, he was my coach in sports, he was the first to show me how to fish. He’s a 74-year-old man who puts others before himself. He cuts a lot of people in our neighborhoods grass, he fixes everyone’s lawn mowers, he loves to build things and take things apart. If he doesn’t win this award from you guys, it’s okay because he’s our number one and will always be our number one dad.

Kevin Gros

{Nominated by :: Emily Gros} Kevin deserves to win the Best NOLA Dad award because he gives 100% plus of himself at work and at home. He goes above and beyond in all that he does. He is always willing to do anything he can for myself or my children. Most importantly, Kevin plays an active role with his children. He helps with homework, fixes breakfast, attends our daughter’s sports games, reads bed time stories, and anything else that our children may need from him.

I have a job that can be demanding at times, and I could not do this without him. Kevin does laundry, cooking, cleaning, and anything else he can do to help out! He is always willing to help anyone with anything. He has helped family and coworkers when they needed help moving and in other times of need.

For instance, when I was pregnant with our son, I had a very rough pregnancy. Kevin did everything he could to make this very difficult time much easier to bear for me. During this time, he took care of our household, our daughter and myself, and continued to work. Then when our son did arrive, Kevin went to the NICU often because I could not get there right away. He took over during this very difficult time, and he did a phenomenal job!

Kevin shows his kids on a daily basis how much he loves them through his actions and words.
His children are proud to call him Dad, and I am super lucky to have him as my husband and the father of my children!

Not only will the winner be named the 2017 Best NOLA Dad, but he will also win the fabulous prize package giveaway valued over $1,000 including:

  • A gift certificate to Ralph Brennan’s Restaurant Group (value of $100)
  • Sazerac Gift Basket including a bottle Sazerac Rye Whiskey, bottle Herbsaint Liqueur, bottle Peychaud’s Bitters, bottle Regans’ Orange Bitters, two Sazerac Cocktail Glasses, two bags of Whiskey Stones, two Sazerac Keychain Bottle Openers, Sazerac Linen Bar Towel, Branded Backup Phone Battery Charger, two Branded Nike Golf Shirts (Size XL) and four hand-painted stone Sazerac coasters (value of $250)
  • A gift basket from Moore’s Marinade (value of $150)
  • A gift card to Paris Parker (value of $100)
  • A gift certificate to Verduré Olive Oil Co. (value $50)
  • Abita Brewing Company Gift Bucket filled with awesome dad related beer gifts and a VIP Brewery Tour for 2 (value of $100)
  • ABC or Commission Pants and Metal Vent Tech Polo from lululemon (value of $250)
  • A gift card from tasc Performance (value of $75)

The winner will be announced on Saturday, June 17th!

2 Responses to 2017 Best NOLA Dad Finalists

  1. Abby June 17, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

    Go Kevin gros!!! I second that nomination

  2. Kelly December 10, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

    I can only hope that the father who is chosen, is not only a good father to his own children, but also a GOOD person in general, someone that is a GOOD example to all.

    Children learn by watching others and are likely to become like those they watch.

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