MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Each year the Family Guidance Center of Alabama recognizes the hard work and dedication of families throughout the River Region.
They spend countless hours interviewing families, large and small, for the prestigious Families of the Year Awards.
Despite the challenges of 2020, this year’s families of the year still say they have a lot to be thankful for.
One such family is Frank and Ella Gaines Thomas. They’re a father-and-daughter duo who are thankful for the time they spend together.
“I was shocked because I never thought our family could be honored in that way,” Ella Gaines said.
Frank and Ella Gaines Thomas are a small but mighty force when it comes to family. While Thomas owns his own business, his first priority is his daughter.
“God blessed me with Ella Gaines. And we have a lot of fun for a 49-year-old man and a teeny little girl,” Thomas said. We have together, we fish together, she can also be a ballerina, or we play soccer and basketball and volleyball.”
And Thomas has no problem keeping up. Along with being Ella’s custodial parent, he wears many others hats. Sometimes coach but always her biggest cheerleader, and his lesson isn’t always about winning in sports but succeeding in life.
“I believe that our job as parents is to raise our children, I think that’s if not our most important legacy, it’s certainly a very important legacy is to raise good children and hopefully carry on for children who also will be good parents,” he said.
“I’m thankful for family and friends. because during this coronavirus that you can’t really get together with them as much. And I’m happy,” Ella Gaines said.
Despite the holiday season and the pandemic, this busy family won’t be slowing down. Instead, they’ll take a moment to share what they are thankful for, especially this time of year.
The Thomas family is also very active at First United Methodist Church.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 prevented this year’s celebration program at the Museum of Fine Arts, but each family will still be presented with a plaque from the Family Guidance Center of Alabama.