Every year, three Ashland seniors take it upon themselves to plan a wonderful night for local girls and their daddies. The Tri-State Father/Daughter Dance benefiting Two Hearts Pregnancy Center has become a Valentine’s weekend tradition that is now in its eighth year.
This year Anna Detherage, Annie Whelan, and Shelby Foutch started planning the dance around the end of December. They were each nominated by one of the girls who arranged the dance last year to carry on the tradition this year. In turn, each girl will nominate a junior student to take their place next year.
The girls changed the layout a little this year. Instead of selling raffle tickets at the door, they moved the sales over to the side wall. They greeted everyone as they came in the door, but they wanted to make it easier for everyone to walk around a little and socialize in the lobby area.
Annie Whelan said that she said yes when asked because she feels that it is “awesome to make a positive impact on the community and bring the community together” and also that it “benefits a great cause.”
The girls feel that the amount of time and work that they put into the dance is “totally worth it.” They remember attending similar dances with their fathers when they were younger. Shelby Foutch says that she wanted to be a part of it and make it a special night because when she was younger, attending a father/daughter dance always made her feel special. Annie said that she used to think it was so much fun when she was younger just to come and dance with her dad.
Anna Detherage said that her favorite part of the evening was just seeing the looks on the little girl's faces when they came in the door. Anna, Annie, and Shelby made sure to compliment the little girls on their dresses, hair and/or jewelry when they came in too, especially if they were acting a little shy. It was obvious that all the little girls had put a lot of effort into their appearance to come on their date with their daddy.
Upon arriving, the little princesses went to have their pictures made with their dad. Then they hit the dance floor. For some of the older ones that meant dancing with their daddy. For the younger ones, it mostly meant playing with the balloons that were strewn all over the dance floor. Either way, there were smiles everywhere from both the girls and their escorts.
After the raffle, it was time for the annual Daddy Dance-Off. This year’s winner was Mason Jordan who seemed to have a bunch of little girls cheering him on. After his win, he explained that he is a softball coach for a lot of the girls that were in attendance, so he had a huge fan base rooting for him. Jordan won a dinner for two and a gift card to Sideburns.
Detherage, Whelan, and Foutch said they are grateful for the chance to plan and participate in the annual dance. When asked if they knew who they would be nominating to take their place next year, each girl said that they had already picked their nominee but were not ready to name the next planners yet. Foutch did say that they had a lot of girls to choose from because there are a lot of upcoming seniors that are “good girls that are as interested in helping people in the community as much as we are.”
As always, Two Hearts Pregnancy Center won the night. Anna Detherage said that they had not had a chance yet to total up the amount of money made from donations and raffle ticket sales but that the charity would be getting a significant gift from those who attended the dance.