Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
LDS Father of the Year Puts Family First
Kansas City KS Star 18Jun00 P2
By Mary Sanchez: The Kansas City Star
KANSAS CITY, KANSAS -- Jim Stotts was named 2000 Kansas City Father
of the Year before 23 members of his family and fans at a Kansas City
Royals game along with 59 other families who were honored as contest
finalists. Stotts, a bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints and president of a general contracting firm, joked,
"Now that I know a little about parenting, I'm all out of kids."
Stotts is the father of seven children and 12 grandchildren and is from
Kearney. After his first wife died, he married his current wife, Dottie,
and began a bond that has lasted 22 years. Together they have combined
their families and added two more children. They never use the word "step"
when referring to their children.
"My wife is an absolute rock," Stotts said. They have two Eagle Scouts,
two student body presidents, five National Honor Society members, prom
queens, football captains and a daughter who graduated from high school with
10 varsity letters.
Nearly 5,000 area schoolchildren wrote essays about their fathers. "You
have to be there a lot of the time to be there at the right time," Stotts
said. He recounted many nights waiting up for children, searching for them
when they were not where they were supposed to be, and most important being
there consistently with commitment.
Stotts' own father was "a good man, but he wasn't involved in my life."
"I made a vow early that I would be there for my family and that I would
never bring alcohol into my home," Stotts explained referring to his
Ken Canfield, founder and president of the Kansas City based National
Center for Fathering, sponsored the contest along with the Royals. "We hope
this sends a message that responsible fatherhood is achievable." "On every
block there are dads who are doing the right thing," Canfield added. The
center offers training to help men be better fathers.
"It seems like in this day and age everybody wants to pull you outside of
home," Stotts said. "But for Dottie and I, we are committed to the fact
that our family comes first."