February is the month to share love and many dads of Morgan Elementary School daughters showed their love just before Valentines Day at a Daddy Daughter Dance. On Feb. 12, approximately 222 dads escorted roughly 300 daughters to a formal dance at the elementary school. As dads arrived escorting their daughter or daughters, they beamed with excitement of sharing the evening together. Watching the little girls parade in with their fancy dresses and brilliant smiles was PTO President Randi Averetts favorite part of the evening. I had the best seat, she explained of taking tickets at the entrance. She watched as a steady procession of father-daughter couples came to dance and be together. I never expected that many! Averett said of the great turnout. During preplanning sessions, the PTO Board hoped for at least 50 dads to attend the evening with the thought that they could possibly have 100 dads attend. As soon as the tickets went up for sale, Averett knew they would surpass that goal. I was very excited! Averett exclaimed. They presold many tickets, and sold more at the door the night of the event. A professional DJ with disco ball and virtual dance teacher kept the girls entertained while dads each had their own idea of how to dance. Some took it nice and slow with the girls, some made their girls laugh with silly moves, and some hung around on the outside of the dance floor near the wall, unsure of exactly what to do. All of them showed their little girls that they were happy to spend the evening together. When they were not on the dance floor in the MES gym, the dancers were delighted with a sundae bar in the cafeteria. With a variety of toppings from the traditional chocolate sauce to the more unique items like Skittles, the ice cream was a hit. Many Morgan businesses such as Js, Ridleys, Traders Apparel, and Farmers Insurance-Neil Maxwell, graciously donated to make the sundae bar a success and cost effective for the PTO. Browning donated hats and knives for a drawing for the dads. The decorations were as beautiful as they were fun. Mrs. Bambrough, the MES art teacher, taught each of the students how to make a beautiful Valentine, varying depending on the grade level. These handmade hearts were hung throughout the gym and cafeteria. Many of the girls searched the walls to be able to show their father the extravagant heart she had created for the event. Vases filled with pink, white, and red carnations decorated the tables and the little girls were delighted to each receive one of the flowers to take home. Many dads purchased wrist corsages from Robyn Nelson, a mother of children at MES and owner of Robyns Floral. The flowers added delight to the night as well as added to the total raised for the evening as Nelson donated $1 for each corsage. Fathers and daughters waited in a steady line throughout the evening to have the memory captured forever with a photo. For each purchase, Bell Photographers donated $1 to boost the fundraising impact of the dance. While the evening itself was magical for little girls and memorable for their dads, the impact of the successful event will reach beyond happy memories. The dance brought in $3,000 for the PTO fund! This money will be used throughout the school year to pay for fieldtrips, incentives for Box Tops for Education, and supplies teachers need. In addition, it will also fund events like Dads and Donuts, as well as Moms and Memories. Averett explained that these morning traditions are important because it sets aside time for parents to visit with their student and spend time with them in the school. For some parents, this is the only time they come into the school. This money can go a long way to support these events. The PTO wanted the evening to support paternal bonding and worked to ensure there were as few women to compete with the attention of the girls as possible. The PTO Board and a handful of mother volunteers stayed out of the spotlight but helped to coordinate tickets, photos, sundaes and other areas. Averett was very grateful for the help the volunteers gave to help pull off the dance. She was also glad that while she had mothers there to help, they did not interrupt the male bonding time the daughters had. With the success of the Daddy Daughter Dance, many were left wondering about a mother son activity. The PTO has begun working out details for a Mother Son Sports Night to be held this May that could possibly included a BBQ. The aim of this night will be to unite family members in recreation, as well as to raise funds for the PTOs worthy goals. The PTO Board would like to thank the volunteers that helped, Mrs. Bambrough and the art students, the DJ Dave Orn who went above and beyond, the businesses that donated, and everyone who attended and made the night successful!