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A night to remember
Annual event provides special memories for fathers, daughters
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The 18th annual Father/Daughter Date Night held Saturday at McMinnville Civic Center was sold out. The Civic Center was filled with men sharing a night of dinner and dancing with their daughters/ granddaughters/ nieces and loved ones.
The event was sponsored by First National Bank, which took the reigns of organizing the community service event from longtime sponsor Grand Rental Station.
“We agreed to take over the sponsorship at the end of December,” said First National employee Anne Vance. “We had over 55 First National employees and their family members to step up, help serve and pull the event off. It was a team effort by Pieter van Vuuren (First National president) and First National. This was the first time I had been to Father/ Daughter night. I thought it was amazing. It was the sweetest thing I have ever been to. Seeing the dads dance with their daughters was so precious.”
Other sponsors making the night happen were Ben Lomand Connect, Bob’s Central Air and Carrier, Caney Fork Electric, Dr Pepper, Harold Martin, McMinnville Parks and Recreation, River Park Hospital, Southern Insurance, Sullens Transport and Womack Printing. Several Warren County High School Interact Club members also helped serve drinks.
The theme was “Winter Wonderland.” The perimeter of the gymnasium was wrapped in navy paper covered in white stars. Lights were strung across the ceiling and several white tree branches filled with twinkling lights dotted the area as well turning the gym into what seemed like a snowy night under the stars.
Several attendees enjoyed the event for the first time with many present who had enjoyed attending for over 10 years or more.
Bo Hutchins attended with his daughter Katie and his niece Kaylee Williams. This was the third year for the trio who said they love the night out every year. The girls both said their favorite thing about the night was the dancing and getting dressed up.
The ladies dress up in their finest dresses or formal gowns while many dads don shirts and/ or ties matching the hue of their date’s dress. Memories of the evening will be preserved with photos taken by LaFonda Burch Photography.
Girls and their dates were presented with corsages and boutonnieres as they entered. And, ladies were handed keepsakes as they left, a snowflake bookmark and a necklace engraved with the word Love.
First National decided to serve food via a buffet line this year instead of having volunteers carry filled plates to tables.
“We had food left over with the buffet. Many of those little girls only wanted one or two pieces of chicken. They were ready to get out on the dance floor. We were able to donate extra food we had left over to Meals on Wheels by having the buffet. The other way, once the food is plated and served, it is gone,” said Vance.
DJ Jason Gross with The Sound Machine entertained the crowd with various musical selections throughout the evening. Songs included slow ballads and fast group numbers which had the crowd on its feet dancing to songs such as “Cha Cha Slide,” “Cupid Shuffle,” “Chicken Dance,” “The Macarena,” and “What Did the Fox Say?”
Several door prizes were given away throughout the night including tickets to the 2015 Father/ Daughter Date Night which were won by Alyssa Mosley and her father, Jeff.
“We are absolutely going to do this again next year,” said Vance. “We are already making plans for 2015. It went so well but we are talking about a few things we can change to make it even better. We are excited.”