LIVE OAK — It happened faster than Brandon Fernald expected, but with his daughter Mallory having just graduated, he knows how quickly time moves.
“It got here like that,” he said snapping his fingers.
But that milestone also has Fernald, a Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce board member and chairperson of the Chamber’s committee for the Father-Daughter Dance, appreciative of just how special that night can be.
“Don’t underestimate that time together and take advantage of moments like this,” Fernald said of the fourth annual dance, which will be held Saturday from 6-10 p.m. at the Suwannee County Coliseum. A limited number of tickets, which cost $25 each, are still available and can be purchased at the Chamber.
“It’s one night but it could mean the world to your daughter.”
That feeling is what the Chamber was looking for when it started the dance, which is sponsored by McCrimons Office Systems. Chamber President Barry Long and Executive Director Hillary Cannon said the whole concept was just to provide an opportunity for fathers and daughters to spend some quality time together.
“It’s a good, quality time,” Long said. “For us, it’s really just a way to give back, to create that feel-good event, which I feel is important.”
And it’s an event that is for daughters of all ages.
“I think that’s one of the really nice things about the event, you’ll see babies and you’ll see grown women with their fathers as well,” Cannon said, adding for some families it is a multi-generational affair with men bringing daughters while their sons-in-laws are bringing theirs as well.
The dance also features a little bit of everything for the daughters and their dads. There will once again be heavy finger foods and hors d'oeuvres as well as a chocolate fountain.
Tammy Johns will be on hand for professional portraits and the dance will also feature a photo booth for fun photos.
The dance competition is returning with three divisions, based on the daughter’s ages, and the grand finale will once again by a massive balloon drop. There will also be drawings for prizes throughout the night.
All that fun isn’t just for fathers and daughters, though. Long said the dance is open to grandfathers, uncles, neighbors, anybody that is willing to be the positive male influence in a girl’s life.
“I think for that connection between girls and the male influence in their life, it’s a great event for that,” he said.