Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 22, 2012

Dancing with Daddy

Event gives fathers a chance to connect with daughters

Katie Brandenburg
The Independent

ASHLAND — On Saturday, David Greene and his daughter, Hannah, 8, got all dressed up — he wore a boutonniere, she carried flowers — and went out for dinner and to the father/daughter dance at Paul G. Blazer High School.

Greene said it was an opportunity to spend quality time with his daughter, to sit down and listen to her one-on-one and to give her an example of how she should expect to be treated by boys as she gets older.

“She needs to expect them to treat her the right way,” he said.

Greene said Hannah is at the age where she needs a role model for how loving relationships should work, he said.

“I want it to be me,” he said.

Greene and Hannah were among about 130 girls and 115 fathers who attended the dance on Saturday, said Kati Hornbuckle, 17, a member of the Youth Leadership group at Blazer. The group had initially expected a turnout of closer to 30 or 40 people.

“We really had no idea what to expect,” she said.

Members of the group went to local elementary schools promoting the dance. Hornbuckle said she thought they were excited about getting to attend a dance at the high school.

Members of the Youth Leadership group were so excited by the success of the father/daughter Valentine’s dance on Saturday that they are already brainstorming to come up with ideas for their next effort, she said.

The dance also raised $1,022 for the Two Hearts Pregnancy Care Center.

Greene said he tries to spend one-on-one time with both his daughter and his son, but Saturday’s event was a unique opportunity to dress up and see her excited about attending a dance.

“It was just a chance for me to spend some time with my daughter,” he said.

Hornbuckle said she hopes the event encouraged girls to spend more time with their fathers.

The impulse is often for children to be embarrassed by their fathers, but quality time is important, she said.

“You  only have one dad, and you never know when something is going to happen,” Hornbuckle said.

Her father, Bill Hornbuckle, said he was proud of his daughter’s group for raising money for the pregnancy care center, but he’s more proud of the impact he thinks the event had on the fathers and daughters who attended the dance.

“That bonding time between these dads and these daughters, that will never be replaced,” he said.

KATIEā€ˆBRANDENBURG can be reached at kbrandenburg@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.