ELIZABETHTOWN — On Saturday, March 8, the auditorium at the Bladen County Extension Office will be transformed into a special spot for fathers and daughters to enjoy the third annual Father/Daughter Sweetheart Dance.
On this magical night, Bladen County fathers will bring their sweetheart date(s) to enjoy a night of music, dancing, pizza, refreshments, face painting, a keepsake photo, crafts and much more.
Bladen County 4-H and Bladen County Parks and Recreation are partnering together to offer the event, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets and registration forms are now available at either agency’s location in Elizabethtown. Tickets will be available through March 1 and cost $15/couple and $5 for each additional daughter. All checks should be made payable to Bladen County 4-H, as any proceeds from the event will help support the county’s 4-H youth development program in the coming year.
Nancy Howell, one of the coordinators of this event, volunteers because of her daughter, Adrienne, 11, who has gone on this annual date night with her daddy since she was 2 years old. When her family moved to White Lake from Goldsboro in 2011, Adrienne was sad that she and her father would miss the special event. So her mom approached Grant Pait, the director of Bladen County Parks and Recreation, with the idea and volunteered to help coordinate the event.
“I love the father-daughter dance because I get to spend time with my daddy,” Adrienne said recently.
Stacie Kinlaw,an agent with the Extension Office, said the Father/Daughter Sweetheart Dance provides an opportunity for fathers to spend unique bonding time with the special girl or girls in their life and to have fun making crafts, dancing, taking silly pictures and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
“This is an important family centered activity and opportunity that is offered through youth programming in Bladen County,” Kinlaw said. “The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse recognizes the importance of father involvement and that all fathers can be important contributors to the well-being of their children.
“Not only did their findings suggest that the presence of a responsible father has a direct effect on behavioral and emotional outcomes for the child, but the research supports the conclusion that children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors including drug use, truancy, and criminal activity,” she added.
The space is limited for this special occasion, so be sure to get your tickets early. For information about this event, contact Kinlaw at 910-862-4591 or Patti Miller at 910-862-6770.