“Funcles” for Father’s Day

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ASHLAND, Ore. — One Rogue Valley resident is celebrating Father’s Day in a different way, and is looking to share her idea with the world in hopes of placing more father figures in the lives of those who are without.

A “funcle” is a father-uncle, and Ginny Auer’s daughter Tess has six. After Auer’s husband died of cancer, she realized her then 6-year-old daughter needed a father figure in her life.

She gathered six of her husband’s closest friends and brothers and asked each of them if they would consider being a “funcle”, someone who could mentor, offer advice, or just be a friend to her daughter, so she could experience father-daughter bonding.

“They can’t ever take the place of who Troy was. It is kind of like having a prosthetic: it helps us function better but it will never replace the real thing,” said Ginny Auer.

Auer got the idea from a co-worker who did the same thing for his family when he was diagnosed with a fatal form of cancer. Studies show children with a stable father figure are stronger and more resilient.