Talala man wins national best dad contest for special relationship with daughter

TALALA, Okla. — While many think they have the best dad, one Oklahoma father now has the hardware to prove that he, in fact, is.

Michael Burnside, from Talala, was announced the winner of the “Dads of Glory” contest, a nationwide search for the best father figure, presented by baked goods company Entenmann’s.

Michael was chosen as the grand prize winner across all “Dad-egories” of the contest, including Dad Love, Dad Engineering, Dad Fashion, Dad Feats and Dad Humor. He won $50 thousand, a year’s supply of donuts and the “Golden Donut Award” trophy.

Michael was nominated by his wife. In her submission video, she described the unique relationship he has with their daughter, Kenzi, who has quadriplegia cerebral palsy. She said Michael does everything he can to help Kenzi live life to the fullest.

“He does some pretty wild and crazy things to give this girl a thrill. She loves it, and absolutely does not think there is anything she cannot do,” said Michael’s wife. “That is because her dad is her hero. He makes sure she lives life to the best of her ability regardless of her circumstances.”

Michael goes out of his way to take Kenzi on adventures, including strapping her to himself to go snowmobiling and carrying Kenzi down a rocky path to take her river rafting.

“He encourages her, gives her confidence, promotes her self worth and wants her to have the best of everything,” said Michael’s wife.

Michael was chosen by a panel of judges out of thousands of submissions from across the country.

“To say that I was in shock was an understatement,” said Michael. “When my wife submitted it, you have these hopes and dreams and this by far outweighed anything I thought imaginable.”

Michael said his family plans to use the money to upgrade their handicap van to provide newer transportation for Kenzi.

Winners in each “Dad-egory” received $1 thousand and a year’s supply of donuts. You can see the full list of winners here.