Rutland man inducted into the Dad Hall of Fame

RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) A Rutland man received an early Father's Day gift. Scott Fleishman shows us how Timothy Nolan's years of service make him a deserving dad.

At Johnny Boys Pancake House in Rutland, Timothy Nolan is enjoying his breakfast with an extra side of love this morning.

"I'm kind of flattered. I'm taken back by it," he said.

Nolan just found out he's been named the 2019 Vermont Haggar Hall of Fame Dad. It's a national contest that selects a deserving dad from each state.

"I'm not that special of a person, I don't think," said Nolan, a veteran who served in Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"My dad and I have a lot in common and honestly I can say he's one of my best friends." said his daughter Molli, who submitted the winning entry.

Not only is Nolan a dedicated father, but he's also now a grandfather to 3-month-old Hadden.

"It's so awesome to finally see him with the baby in his arms. I've known he's been excited to be a grandpa for a long, long time," said Molli.

"We watch TV, Puppy Dog Pals," said Nolan.

Two days after Hayden was born, Nolan decided to retire and take care of Hayden part time, shining a light on a larger issue affecting families in Vermont and across the country -- the rising cost of day care.

"If I can retire and use my retirement to subsidize and I just get a part-time job," Nolan said.

According to an Economic Policy Institute report last year, Vermont ranks 16 in most expensive child care, with an average annual cost of a little more than $11,000. New Hampshire comes in at 12, with just under $12,000. For most families, like the Nolans, that's a significant expense.

"They cannot get their feet on the ground," said Nolan.

Fortunately for this family, grandpa day care has worked out, resulting in a bond you can't put a price on.

"He's only going to be this age for so long. Then he's going to go on to preschool, and then I won't be needed anymore," Nolan said

There will always be a place for grandpa at the table. Especially one who has made sacrifices for his country and family.