GATES MILLS, OH (WOIO) - Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. Almost two-thirds of the victims come from fatherless homes. But we found one local group that's trying to reduce those numbers. This week's Romona's Kids are in Gates Mills.
The Him & Me Father-Daughter Ice Skating event at Gilmour Academy was sponsored by the group, Alive on Purpose. They say building a closer bond between a girl and a significant man in her life raises a girl's self-esteem and makes suicide less likely.
"We're just trying to make sure people understand the importance of fathers being involved, even if it's not our biological father," said Daphne Davis, Alive on Purpose volunteer. "It can be uncles, godfathers, stepfathers, just that importance of that father role in the home."
It's a fun event, but these dads know that underneath it all, they have a powerful role in their daughter's lives.
"I grew up in a home without a father and I understand the dynamics of when you don't have a father in your life. So I promised myself that I'll always play a positive role in my daughter's life," said Orlando Grant.
"I like to spend time with my dad. We also go to the movies and to church together," said 11-year-old Brianna Grant.
"I love spending time with my daddy," said kindergartener Nylah Stallworth.
"As she grows older, if you're not in her life, they tend to get in trouble and lose respect. So it's really important to spend that time with her now," said Nathaniel Stallworth.
"We play chess and checkers and sometimes we go outside and he teaches me how to play basketball," said 6-year-old Michaela Arrington.
"I think it's always positive to have a father figure, because she'll know what qualities to look for in a human being," said father Michael Arrington.
"I enjoy doing this, because it's a great time to have fun and be with your dad," said 7-year-old Jai'leen Matthews.