Swing Into Family Fun At Annual Daddy Daughter Event

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Care to Dance?

Community: 2024 Rotary Club Daddy Daughter Dance
By Tyler Francke, Contributing Writer | Photos courtesy of Rotary Club of Canby

Returning again for 2024, the Daddy-Daughter Dance is an evening of music and magic for the young and young at heart. This year’s event is planned for Saturday, March 16, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Ackerman Center in Canby. The project’s leader, Matthew Nelson, says this special event is sponsored by Rotary Club of Canby for the families of the community. Last year’s event was sold out with more than 400 daddies and daughters in attendance.

“The Daddy-Daughter Dance is really critical for relationships that are core in our community,” says Ray Keen, a former president of the Canby Rotary. “I think one thing that is really needed is the opportunity for fathers and daughters — and other meaningful relations — to come together and connect.” Many adults and kids are finding themselves drowning in screen time, Keen says, whether that is a product of remote work, school or simply an increased desire for escapism.

“Either we use that to disconnect or we use it to reset,” he says. “Or we feel like, ‘Hey, I need to stay informed about the next thing that’s happening.’ With all that taking place, I think our relationships can really be impacted. So it’s important that we find time to do things together that are relational beyond just sort of being in the same room together, by actually having a meaningful experience together.”

The simple act of stepping outside one’s comfort zone can be very meaningful and significant to an impressionable child or loved one, Keen explains. Impressions such as: “I had so much fun, Daddy, can we do it again?” “My daughter said this was the most fun she has ever had with me.” “Thank you for providing a special evening for us.”

“Many dads out there, like myself, are terrible dancers,” he says with a chuckle. “But I think that one of the best things that we can do with a young daughter is step into a space where I’m not an expert. I don’t have all this figured out. But I do know that I want to make a night that is special for her.”

While Keen and the other organizers see the event as meaningful and important, they also expect it to be a ton of fun. The evening’s agenda includes: a DJ who will provide a mix of exciting music; face-painting; a balloon artist; a photographer; and snacks and refreshments such as a chocolate fountain with marshmallows. Canby Rotary members are excited about providing this fun, magical evening for daddies and their daughters, and this special time brings tears to the eyes of many of the adults.

“Our desire is to see dads and daughters come together for what we think will be a really magical evening,” Keen says. “There will be special treats and magical surprises, so it should be a fantastic time.”

The Canby Rotary Daddy-Daughter Dance will be held 6 to 9 p.m. on March 16 at the Ackerman Center, 350 S.E. 13th Avenue. Tickets are $45 per couple and $15 for an additional daughter. All are welcome. Tickets are available online at canbyrotary.com.