'Awesomest' Travis County dad wins national contest
As an Austin firefighter for the past eight years, John Drummond puts his life on the line every day and often works overtime, his family says. But even when he comes home exhausted, he makes time to play with his two sons and two daughters and helps them with homework.
Those are some of the reasons why — "between saving lives and changing diapers" — his wife, Ana, said she and their four children set out to prove he is America's Most Deserving Father.
In a one-minute video, they used drawings and photos to tell his story, and their entry took the winning prize: a one-week stay at a Destin, Fla., beach house sponsored by ResortQuest; a 2012 Jeep Wrangler; and $500 in spending money.
The contest, organized by Northwest Florida's Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, had more than 5,000 registered applicants nationwide and received more than 180 short film entries.
The bureau's marketing team chose the Drummonds' entry out of the 10 videos that had the most likes on the bureau's Facebook page. And on Sunday, a spokeswoman with Emerald Coast and a group of reporters met John Drummond at his southwestern Travis County home to deliver the surprise. He answered the door with a puzzled look on his face.
"This is awesome," he said with tears in his eyes after a few seconds of confused speechlessness. "I have never won anything in my life. I do not know what to say. I can't believe it."
His daughters, Layla, 4, and Maya, 6, bubbly, little girls with big, bright eyes and their mother's brown locks, beamed smiles at the cameras. His 8-year-old son, Joseph, told reporters his father deserved the recognition because "he is the awesomest."
Ana Drummond said that her husband watches the children while she takes classes in preparation for nursing school and that he puts in overtime to help pay for her education.
"He is just a great dad, and I am really proud of him," she said.
The holiday had already been going well, John Drummond said. He had received artwork from his children Sunday morning and was looking forward to dinner at his favorite barbecue restaurant.
He had noticed his wife had been acting strangely all week but never saw this coming, he said.
"I just want to thank my family," he said.
Photo credit: Alberto Martinez, Austin American-Statesman
Austin firefighter John Drummond – with his children Layla, 4; Maya, 6; and Joseph, 8; and his wife, Ana – displays his awards for being selected America's Most Deserving Dad after his family touted his qualities in a contest.