The annual Father-Daughter Sweetheart Dance at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt has captured the hearts of military families for many years.
This Father’s Day dads and daughters in the local community are reminiscing about how special the evening was from start to finish.
“I really feel other Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC) should consider holding events like the Daddy Daughter Dance. This dance gives parents a chance to connect with their children in a special setting. That kind of bonding is particularly important when you are deployed away frequently for extended periods,” said Master Seaman Ryan Kingston, naval combat information operator, Regional Joint Operations Center (Pacific), MARPAC/JTFPHQ.
Although the event took place on February 28 at the beautiful Chief and Petty Officer’s Mess, overlooking the ocean, it is still a topic of conversation around Father’s Day. The space was totally decorated in red and pink sparkly hearts, and each girl was given a long-stemmed carnation.
Kington’s only child is a six-year-old girl. He felt it was important to take her to the dance to give her a chance to do something memorable with him, while socializing with girls in unique military family situations, just like hers. She loved the dance and continues to remind him of their time together.
“I have deployed and been away on courses and exercises numerous times. In the first three years of my daughter’s life, I was only home six months. Every time I come home, or just before I leave we always plan a trip or special outing to create good memories for her to focus on while I’m away. The Father Daughter Dance is one of those memories,” explained Kingston.
Toddler to teen girls dressed in their finest and dads were wearing everything from suits to cowboy hats. Personnel Support Programs (PSP) partnered with the Esquimalt MFRC to provide Diva Pampering and Petite Princess Pampering for the girls prior to the dance.
“We are a military community. Many members are deployed and cannot attend the dance, so we see moms, grandfathers, and friends escort the girls. I think for me one of the most memorable moments of past dances was seeing a young boy escort his two sisters because their dad was deployed. They captured the essence and spirit of the dance,” said Jon Chabun, communications and marketing coordinator, Esquimalt MFRC. “We are a unique community and we celebrate that.”
The DJ played all the top hits and light refreshments were served along with plenty of beverages to quench the thirst of the dancers. Tickets cost $25 for fathers and girls were admitted for free. Prizes were drawn for throughout the evening. Anyone who purchased an early bird ticket was entered into a draw to win a L.A. Limousine ride to the dance.
For more information please visit on the Daddy Daughter Dance visit the Esquimalt MFRC website.