Ringgold grandfather gets Father's Day surprise on TODAY Show - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ringgold grandfather gets Father's Day surprise on TODAY Show

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Charles Warthan (left) his grandson, DeMille Cole-Heard, and TODAY"s Matt Lauer. Charles Warthan (left) his grandson, DeMille Cole-Heard, and TODAY"s Matt Lauer.
RINGGOLD, GA (WRCB) - A Ringgold man got quite the father's day gift Friday morning, one that put him in the national spotlight.

Charles Warthan from Ringgold and his grandson, DeMille Cole-Heard were singing the national anthem live on the TODAY Show.

Cole-Heard wanted to surprise his grandfather for father's day. He says his grandfather, who helped raise him, was like a father to him.

Warthan was always there for him, and made a big difference in his life. Cole-Heard currently lives in California where he is an aspiring singer.

Wartham serves as a deacon at Mt. Peria Church in Ringgold. He always worked at least two custodial jobs, served his country and helped Cole-Heard, 25, follow his passions.

We spoke with a family friend who says they didn't find about the big surprise until everyone else did when they saw them on the TODAY Show.

“There is no father figure more deserving than my grandfather, Charles Warthan,” Cole-Heard wrote in a letter he read aloud on TODAY Friday. “He has been right beside me for the past 25 years, sharing his love of music, and now supporting me as I pursue singing and acting myself.”

He continued: “I've been on a long journey, faced with obstacle after obstacle, but my dreams are starting to come true, and it never would have been possible without my grandfather.”

Warthan appeared with his grandson live on TODAY Friday, thinking he was there to support Cole-Heard as he tried out for “The Voice.”

But as a special Father’s Day surprise, Cole-Heard honored him for all he has done and helped his grandfather realize his lifelong dream of singing for all the world to hear.

NBC's TODAY Show contributed to this report.
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