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King for a Day - Rich Delamar
Fantastic father: Rich Delamar (center right) is the winner of The Rockdale News King for a Day contest, and was entered by his family: (l-r) May Knox, Sylvin, Jordan and Mia Delamar. - photo by Michelle Kim

Business owner, minister, and father of two Rich Delamar has put his family first, especially over the last couple of years as his wife Sylvia pursues a law degree in Connecticut. So for Father’s Day, his family wanted to let him know they put him first.

On Wednesday, Delamar was surprised at his business — Signature Spas by Delamar, in Stockbridge — and informed that he was the winner of the Rockdale News "King for a Day" contest and had received prizes from contest sponsors Sigman-Mills Furniture Company and Gold’s Gym.

Delamar’s family secretly entered him in the contest by submitting an essay written by his 11-year-old daughter Mia (see page 8). Delamar’s family also showed up at the business for the announcement, where Mia read her essay aloud.

"This one is the best one ever," said Delamar, of the early Father’s Day gift. "They took time to plan it out. It’s real special. I really enjoy this one the best."

Over the last couple of years, Delamar has had to be both mother and father to his children — Mia, a rising seventh grader at Davis Middle School, and Jordan, 15, a rising junior at Salem High School — as his wife Sylvia pursues her law degree in Connecticut.

Although she commutes back home on the weekends and in the summers, and although the children’s grandmother Mary Knox helps out quite a bit, Sylvia said it has been hard.

"I recognize what my husband is going through, with my being in school. The distance is not bad, if there’s time, but law school’s very demanding. I thank God he’s allowing me to do that. He’s a great, great husband and father."

"I knew it was going to be hard and rough, but she had dreams," said Delamar. "I didn’t marry her to keep her dreams down," he said, which brought a hug from his wife.

Mia and Jordan described how their dad would put them first, taking them to band practice or helping them get ready for talent shows, even if it meant he would be late for work.

"You cherish those moments because they’re not going to be kids forever," Delamar said. "Those times now are real precious. Before you know it, it’ll be all over, they’ll be off and gone to college, getting their careers established."

"He keeps us all together," said Sylvia. "That’s why today is so special that we can put him first and let him know how much we love him."