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BLOOMINGTON - Charity fund raising, eating scrambled eggs and looking at exotic animals were just a few things Twin City families did Sunday to honor their dads on Father's Day.

The Bloomington Knights of Columbus held a Father's Day breakfast to raise money for charity, a familiar cause for the organization because of its focus on helping others.

"The No. 1 order of business for us is charity and then family," said John Schraufnagel, faithful navigator for the Knights of Columbus, as he helped out in the kitchen.

Performing charity work was a fitting way to demonstrate those values on Father's Day, a time to remember and appreciate the men who helped raise children, Schraufnagel said.

"It's a day to honor your fathers and your grandfathers for all of the hard work they did raising and providing for you," he said. "It's a day that lets dads sit back and relax."

But not every dad was able to sit back and relax Sunday.

The holiday had special meaning for the Traber family, who took a fun-filled trip to Miller Park Zoo, not forgetting dad Patrick, who is serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army.

"It's hard, but he called yesterday and we said happy Father's Day to him and sent him some pictures before Father's Day so he gets them today," said Rachel Traber of Cisco about her husband. "We just make up for it when he gets home.

Rachel Traber said she likes to keep busy while Patrick is away, and she had her hands full pushing her two children, Collin, 3, and Samantha, 18 months, in a stroller at the zoo.

"My dad's an Army guy," said a proud Collin, sporting a kid-size, military-style hat with a photo of his dad on it.

The zoo was hosting its annual Father's Day event, which gives dads and granddads accompanied by their children free admission.

"If anybody can get something for free, they'll come. I know I would," joked Jodi Smith, cashier for the zoo gift shop.

Zoo employees said Father's Day always produces good attendance for the zoo. And attendance has already been up because of the bald eagle egg that eagles Beauty and Mathata guarded from late April up until this weekend.

The pair abandoned the egg, a sign it will not hatch, though for 50-plus days eagle watchers watched for signs that Mathata might become a father himself.

Meanwhile at the Knights of Columbus breakfast, dads took time between bites to reflect on their fathers and their own experiences raising children.

"It's a big commitment with your family and with your wife," said Jim Ulbrich, a Knights of Columbus member from Bloomington. "Being able to raise your children and to see how they grow is a good feeling."

"I had a very good father," said Hy Roznowski, another Bloomington Knights of Columbus member. "He taught me how to play baseball. He was a disciplinarian. I respected him, and I grew up like him."


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