01/15/06 — Fathers will escort daughters to fundraiser dance

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Fathers will escort daughters to fundraiser dance

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on January 15, 2006 2:07 AM

For the past two years, a father-daughter dance has been held at the Family YMCA to raise funds for the WARM Hearts mentoring program.

With family dynamics rapidly changing, the concept has been expanded to include grandfathers, uncles or a father figure, said Vanessa Spiron, director of the mentoring program.

As the third annual "favorite guy dance" approaches at the end of this month, she set her own heart on a theme she says is most appropriate - "Show your daughter what her first date should be like."

"I see it as a special evening for a father and daughter," she said. "I love seeing the beautiful atmosphere, and the feedback so far has just been outstanding."

The first year it was held, she said, 50 couples attended. That number doubled last year, with little girls up to ages 18 and 20 showing up with their fathers or a male role model.

This year's dance will be Saturday, Jan. 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Goldsboro Family YMCA featuring food, games, door prizes, a silent auction and dancing. Ticket prices in advance are $20 per couple, $5 for each additional daughter, with a limited number sold at the door for $25 per couple.

A professional photographer will also be there to capture the evening in pictures. And among the special features of the evening will be an opportunity to make valentines for mothers as well as playing the game, "How well do you know your father? How well do you know your daughter?"

The event has gone beyond being a fun evening and serving as the primary fundraiser for the mentoring program, Mrs. Spiron said. It has also created wonderful memories for the men and young women who go.

Cynnamon Warner, 12, attended last year.

"I liked that my daddy treated this as a special date," she said. "He brought me flowers and danced with me. We go on daddy-daughter dates all the time, but this was even better."

Robert Hankins said he is looking forward to his "date night" with daughter, Lisa, again this year.

"I wouldn't miss this time with my daughter. We have had a fantastic time every year, and we put it on the calendar as soon as we can, so we don't miss it next time," he said.

Lisa Hankins said she and her dad will attend their third dance this year.

The 16-year-old said she treasures the time.

"It is really neat to have a place to go that encourages and strengthens the relationship between a girl and her daddy through dancing, games, food and music," she said. "We dance like no one is looking. If you have never participated in the father/daughter dance, I truly encourage you to come and join us this year. You will thoroughly enjoy this night and it will create a wonderful memory that will last a lifetime. Remember, you are never too old to be your daddy's little girl."

Eddie Uzzell plans to bring all three of his daughters - Jessica, 12, Lauren, 10, and Natalie, 8. He said they all thoroughly enjoyed last year's dance.

"It's a good thing for fathers and daughters to do," he said. "We had a good time."

The only downside for the girls, he said, was having to share.

"One was mad because I didn't dance with her quite as much," he said.

That would be Natalie.

This year, she is prepared.

"We ran out of time," she said. "This year I get him first!"

Uzzell said the evening gave them some quality time that they don't normally get.

"With a father, there isn't but so much you can do. It gives you time to be alone, spend some time with them. They open up a little more when Mom's not around."

Tickets are available at the Family YMCA. Donations of food, door prizes, and items for the silent auction are also being accepted. For more information, call 778-8557.