Time for free family films on outdoor screen

Radiant Life Fellowship Church will host free movies at North Mecklenburg Park starting Friday. Come watch family-friendly movies on a 15-by-20-foot outdoor screen.

Popcorn, drinks, freezer pops and glow necklaces will be for sale. CiCi's Pizza will begin pizza service at 6 pm. Families can buy a medium one-topping pizza for $5 and brownie boxes for $1.

Arrive early and enjoy family entertainment: Frisbee, corn hole games, music and a dramatic production by actors from local churches.

Bring family, friends, neighbors, blankets and chairs. The park will be closed when it reaches capacity.

Movies will begin about 9 p.m.. Details: Here's the schedule:

Friday: "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs."

July 23: "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs."

Aug. 27: "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel."

Happy Father's Day

From halfway around the world, my dad came to this country alone with $198 in his pocket and two small suitcases. Accepted into numerous graduate engineering programs, he chose the University of Illinois - Champaign-Urbana. Since he came from the Philippines' tropics, Illinois was not only culture shock but also physical shock. He had never felt climate so cold.

I am grateful for the amazing sacrifices he made and risks he took to build a life in this country, so far from his homeland, so that I could have a better life. Growing up in unimaginable poverty in a third-world country, he was determined to make it out of that situation. If one has not seen where he came from, one would not truly realize what it took to get out.

As a young man he got his hands on an old Sears catalog. He could only imagine what it was like to have the beautiful things he saw in those pages.

Now, at 77, having lived and worked hard in the U.S. for almost 50 years, he has realized his dream many times over. My dad has great appreciation for the abundance here in the States that many of us take for granted.

What is amazing about my dad is that, even at his age, he embraces what life brings him. Recruiters are still trying to hire him for engineering jobs all over the country with starting salaries in six figures! He has a Macbook computer, he texts on his mobile phone and he even is on Facebook.

I owe so much to my dad. I love and respect him, and I celebrate him today and every day. Happy Father's Day, Dad!