East Texans and local housing officials gathered Thursday to celebrate fatherhood. 

Candace Porter-Condry, housing manager of the city of Tyler's Neighborhood Services Housing Department, coordinated and hosted the celebration at its office on Gentry Parkway. The event featured a cookout, healthcare service booths, bounce houses and music.

The annual event is intended to be a way to connect fathers with their children by providing them with services to help support their families, according to event information provided by the city. 

“This is an opportunity to celebrate fathers and families, too, and have an opportunity to expose people to the different services they can get,” Porter-Condry said.

Waylon Robinson, father of three attended the cookout with his family and children.

“It feels nice to get out of the neighborhood and come to events like these; the kids where really excited,” Robinson said.

Sharon Roberts, interim manager of Neighborhood Services, said the main purpose is to recognize the importance of families and fathers.

“We wanted to do an event that gave us an excuse to have fun but also to get the word out about our services and recognize those families we help out,” Roberts said.

Roy Coffer, a father and employee of the city of Tyler, decided to stop by and have a quick bite.

“My daughter is working right now, but I thought it would be fun to stop by. It has been a thrill,” Coffer said. 

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