Tri-Command fathers and daughters spend a special evening together

1 May 2009 | Cpl. Christopher Zahn

Fathers from across the Tri-Command area shined their shoes, polished their medals, put on their best shirt and tie to spend an evening with their princesses. The 2nd annual Father Daughter Dance was held Saturday at the Officers’ Club aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

“The purpose was to give fathers and their daughters a special evening together,” said Kari Lopez, the regional youth director for Marine Corps Community Services, which sponsored the event. “It was a night for the dads to cherish the little girls in their lives.”

The evening was a rare treat for those who work long hours away from their children.

“With the job I have, it’s difficult to spend time with my daughter,” said Staff Sgt. Sidney Richards, a drill instructor with Support Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. “This was a chance to spend some quality time with her.”

For one Marine, the opportunity to spend an evening together was not something that his daughter was going to pass up.

“My little girl asked me to go,” said Sgt. Cory Standridge, a telephone operator with Headquarters and Support Battalion aboard the Depot. “She saw the flyer at the Child Development Center and asked, so we went.”

As the families walked through the doors of the O’ Club, they were greeted with a photographer for portraits and a goody bag for the girls. The first photo was free and fathers had the option to pay more for other sizes.

To please everyone a buffet-style dinner was catered to a younger crowd with chicken nuggets, French fries, mozzarella sticks, mashed potatoes, ham, corn and vegetables. There were also plenty of cookies and brownies to go around.

“We tried to do more kid-friendly food, because it was more about the daughters,” Lopez added. “But, there was also some stuff in there for the fathers.”

There were two dance contests, one for the daughters and one for the fathers. Each contest had plenty of participants willing to cut a rug on the dance floor. At the end of the evening there was one final dance for the fathers and daughters.

“What made it so eventful was the smiles on the faces of the little girls who were there having an evening with their father, which is something they don’t always get because Daddy has to work,” Lopez said.