As a full weekend of events begins to settle down, men of all ages are invited to a special banquet honoring the relationships between fathers and sons, and between men and other men in general, at the Hazen High School.
The Second Annual Community Churches Father & Son Banquet will be held Sunday, Sept. 10 at the Hazen High School Uncommons from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event includes a catered meal and a message provided to the assembled men by St. Mary’s Central High School Principal Connor Doll, a Hazen HS alum.
“They asked me last year if I’d be willing to speak this year to the fathers and sons in the community,” Doll said. “Whether it’s good memories or good advice and experience that Hazen provided me to bring me to where I’m at now.”
Doll said he hopes to draw on these life lessons of his own to connect with other men and help them recognize the value of growing up in a place that priorities good values, strong families, personal growth and the importance of faith.
“There are a lot of leaders in my life who have influenced me: coaches, teachers, principals, pastors and other leaders in the community,” he said. “Witnessing quality leadership that allows for people’s growth and provides the best experiences made a leadership role really attractive to me.”
While mentioning many mentors and men he looks up to, Connor Doll intends to give special notice to his primary role model: his father, Paul Doll.
“I want to talk about what it was like having the father that I had and the impact of that on me,” he said. “The list goes on and on of quality people I can really aspire to be, but I want to list my parents in particular. And growing up in a very healthy family is something I just see as a bigger and bigger gift.”
In addition to people, Doll said he will talk about some of the activities that left a lasting mark on his growing up and his memories, from riding bikes around town to the Hazen Swimming Pool to playing in high school sports and being part of other extracurricular activities.
These activities gave Doll ample opportunity to grow as a leader as well as a student, from being on the student council to his role on the field during a game.
“I just felt it was something I was gifted at and lots of people recommended that I pursue that,” he said. “I felt I have gift, and I was called to be in this position.”
Doll plans to talk about the importance of a foundation of faith as well in leadership and in growing as men.
“I hope to bring some tidbits on faith and how that’s really benefited me,” he said.
Doll was born in Bismarck, but soon moved to Hazen, where he attended grades K-12. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary mathematics education from the University of Mary and play four years of college baseball.
After graduating in 2019 from the University of Mary, Doll became a math instructor and football and baseball assistant coach at St. Mary’s Central High School. In addition, he enjoyed serving the school community as an advisor of a male-only group at St. Mary’s called Knights of Virtue.
While teaching, Mr. Doll went on to complete his Master of Education in secondary administration from the University of Mary in December 2021. He was hired as principal at St. Mary’s Central High School on July 1, 2022, and is now preparing for his second year as principal. He lives in Bismarck with his wife, Kayla (Lindquist) Doll, another Hazen High School graduate.
The Father Son Banquet begins at 5:30. It starts with the Pledge of Allegiance and recognition of the eldest and youngest attendees, followed by an opening prayer and special music from a quartet of men. There will also be another musical selection and a closing prayer at the end of the ceremony. Larry Foss will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.
The meal is catered by Kimi’s. It is prime rib, mashed potato, salad, a dinner roll and a caramel brownie with ice cream. Tickets are $25 per plate and can be purchased from Hazen Cenex, Krause’s Market, The Hub, Union State Bank, The Union Bank and Capital Credit Union. Because the event is being catered and a count is needed, tickets should be purchased by Thursday, Sept. 7.
“Anyone from Hazen, Beulah, Stanton and around the area is welcome to join us,” Foss said. He added that, while highlighting fathers and sons, the event is open to any men.
“Any adult male who would like to sponsor a young man, please feel free to purchase a ticket and invite him,” he said.
Foss said he hopes men from around the area will come out to encourage and grow with one another.