2016 Best Red Stick Dad Winner!!

We are excited to announce that the winner of our 2016 Best Red Stick Dad is ::

Beau Ellerbee

Beau Ellerbee

{Nominated by :: Megan Ellerbee}

In 2010, just before we got engaged, my husband Beau completely and permanently lost his vision due to Diabetic Retinopathy. For the next five years, he struggled to learn how to live without sight. His struggle led him to participate in a 6-month residential program in Lafayette (Affiliated Blind of Louisiana) right after we got married in 2012, where he learned Braille, adaptive technology, and cane mobility.

In March 2014, we found out that I was pregnant with our son, Andrew. Beau was definitely apprehensive, first about his ability to care for a baby, and also because he had still not been able to find a job. We were so blessed in October of that year when he was offered a receptionist position at Lighthouse Louisiana. Since then, Beau has grown so much professionally. He was promoted in September 2015 and now teaches an Independent Living Skills class to other blind people in the community. In March 2016, Beau and Lighthouse Louisiana were featured in the Baton Rouge Business Report, and in April 2016 he spoke in front of the legislature to champion for continued funding of rehabilitation services in Baton Rouge. He was recently named Lighthouse Louisiana Employee of the Year, and is a nominee for the 2016 Milton J. Samuelson Career Achievement Award given by National Industries for the Blind. Beau works every day to help other blind people in the Baton Rouge area who are in the same position he has been, and truly loves the work he does. He is also always aware of the example he is setting for Andrew, ensuring Andrew will grow up knowing that your disabilities don’t have to determine the work you can do or lessen the difference you can make.

Beau shouldn’t have worried about his ability to be a dad to Andrew either. Since the day Andrew was born, Beau has been so focused on making sure Andrew is taken care of and always has fun. He dances with Andrew, goes on every zoo and museum trip I plan, and makes up games to play with him. He does all of the dishes, helps with bath time, and is Andrew’s favorite nap buddy. He has even memorized Andrew’s favorite books so that he can read to him. At 18 months, I don’t know if Andrew can tell that Beau is blind or what exactly is different about him, but the bond that the two of them have is the most precious thing for me to watch grow. We are so very lucky and proud to call Beau “Dad,” and I am so glad Andrew will have this perfect example of what you can accomplish and overcome if you stay positive, work hard, and love with everything you have.

Congratulations Beau! You are the winner of the fabulous prize package giveaway valued over $760 including ::

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We would like to wish a very Happy Father’s Day to all of the AMAZING dads out there!

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