Ashlee Baracy: 'My dad holds a special place in my heart'

DETROIT – My dad has such a special place in my heart for so many reasons. When I was a little girl, he would take me everywhere with him. I had my own hockey stick that I would play with when he would play floor hockey and a miniature tool belt that I wore when he took me to work with him. I have always admired his hard work ethic.

More importantly, we have always had a close bond, which grew stronger when my mom was going through treatment for cancer nearly ten years ago.

My favorite memory was sitting next to him after my mom came out of surgery from her mastectomy and he looked her in the eyes and told her how beautiful she was and how much he loved her. That moment epitomizes the kind of man my father is and how blessed I am to call him my dad. As I have grown up, he has been my biggest supporter and fan.

My most recent favorite memories are seeing him run with my mom to the edge of the Miss Michigan stage when I won and watching them both jump up and down in excitement with tears in their eyes and of course spending football Saturdays in the Big House with him cheering on the maize and blue. I love my dad!