Great Dad Winner Award!!
This summer the Men’s Legal Center (“MLC”) recognizes a “Great Dad” who has gone above and beyond normal fatherly duties.
Mr. T.J. Zane is the former President and CEO of the Lincoln Club of San Diego County. T.J. now heads a San Diego taxpayer advocacy and government reform non-profit. Aside from being a busy professional, T.J. has always found time to dedicate to his children. Recently, he participated in a 300 mile bike ride with his 11 year old son, Thomas Augustine (“Gus”)–a challenge not easily done.
MLC spoke with T.J. regarding his trip. “We rode as part of the annual ‘Ride Across California’ (RAC) (a.k.a. “River to Riptide” ride) that is put on by the Rancho Family YMCA here in Rancho Penasquitos; it is held during Poway Unified School District’s Spring Break week in April.” T.J. explained that the ride started on a Sunday at the Colorado River (across the California border in Yuma, AZ) and ended on Saturday at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.
The following was the itinerary of the ride:
Day 1, 18.38 miles-Start in Yuma, overnight at Gold Rock Ranch in Winterhaven, CA
Day 2, 54.4 miles-Overnight at the Pine Elementary School in Holtville, CA
Day 3, 48.74 miles-Cool stop at Naval Air Station El Centro to go swimming in their swimming pool << overnight at Ocotillo Community Center
Day 4, 29.63 miles-Overnight at Vallecitos County Park
Day 5, 33.2 miles-Overnight at Wynola Pizza & Bistro in Santa Ysabel
Day 6, 47.02 miles-Overnight at the San Pasqual Valley Archeological Center
Day 7, 35.37 miles-End at Encinitas, CA
T.J. admitted “It was a week full of heat. All but the final day had temperatures nearing or surpassing 100° F, wind, hills (over 10,343 feet in total elevation gain!), dirt, exhaustion, smiles, fun, friends, PROUD moments and accomplishments – it was an amazing adventure for Gus and the entire family , and it was worth every minute (and dollar) spent!”
T.J. gives praise to his wife of 14 years, Rozanna, who managed to be such a great Chase Driver while, at the time, being 8-months pregnant and accompanied by their 2-year-old, Kendric, in tow.
T.J. told MLC, “I wanted to do this trip because I wanted to prove to my son that if he plans and trains he can accomplish anything he de
sires. Like most kids his age, he’s not exactly the type that would jump at doing this… he’d just as much rather sit home all Spring Break playing Minecraft on his computer. Sometimes you just have to kick your kid in the pants and make them do something you KNOW they will remember forever and never regret.”
T.J. explained that Gus was hesitant to endure the challenge but this changed as Gus’ confidence grew. “I tell him [Gus] do these three things always: Do your best. Have fun. Never give up.” Words a Great Dad instills in his child.
Apart from this ride, T.J. also coached Gus’ soccer team this Spring, chaired his school’s Academy Foundation for the past two years, and is heavily involved in Boy Scouts with him. “I can only hope he’ll do just as much with his own kids someday,” states T.J. As they say, go to a busy man to get things done.
T.J.’s newest addition to his family is a baby girl “Grace Elizabeth” who was born May 16th of this year. MLC knows that this little girl will have a wonderful man to call “dad.” Congratulations T.J. Zane for being this summer’s “Great Dad!”