RUBONIA -- Members of the community came together Saturday to start celebrating Father's Day a day early in Rubonia.
Dozens of people came out to the Community Father's Day Fun Day event in the Robonia Community Center field. Community members volunteered time and money to put together the informal gathering.
"A lot of people are really hesitant to do it, but they see other people doing it," said Ryan "Doobie" Boyd, with Doobie's Southern Kitchen. "To me it's something that comes natural."
Boyd was born and raised in Palmetto, he said, as he grilled burgers and hot dogs for everyone.
"All these people I grew up with," Boyd said. "For me, we are lifelong friends."
It was easy to see the children were having a good time whether they were jumping in the bounce house, running around the playground or playing basketball.
Tajei Rice, 17, attended with his father. As he looked at the storm clouds approaching, he said he hoped it didn't rain.
"The best part so far is enjoying family and friends, the company," he said. "It's just a means to bring people closer, have fun with, not just your family, but other families."
De'lane Miller, a Freedom Elementary student, was out of breath from racing around the field with her dad.
"It means a lot to me to get to spend time with dad," De'Lane said.
Her father, Dana Miller, helped organize the event.
"A bunch of us decided to have a Father's Day Fun Day at the park for the kids," Miller said. "We just have so much for the community."
The event is part of a bigger movement by the group.
"We're trying to be an active part of the Village Movement we want to see in our community and Manatee County," said Chanel Roberts, president of Man in the Mirror Charities. "It takes a village to raise a child."
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.