For 20-plus years the folks in Marlborough, Massachusetts have been dusting off their dancing shoes in anticipation of the annual Father Daughter Dance sponsored by the Marlborough Lions Club. Heartwarming moments come in all forms when dads and their daughters take to the floor. “The girls just love it, and the dads do too,” says Lion Barney Kalman who takes tickets and pours punch—lots and lots of punch. In the first year, in 1996, planners were sweating bullets before the music even began. They had punch, cookies and decorations galore, but just 50 tickets had been sold. The Lion in the lion suit had to be put back in his cage because young dancers were afraid of him. Thankfully, another 100 last-minute dancers showed up at the door. The beat was on. Like this, Dad! Now, more than 600 fathers and daughters take to the dance floor each year, and planners are worried that they may be outgrowing their spot in the Marlborough High School cafeteria. “The girls like to dance together too. They play all the kids’ pop music. Their music. They don’t play our music: Aerosmith or Led Zeppelin,” says Lion Mark Gibbs. “But it’s the best thing ever. Great for the community. Great for everyone. I love it.” Fathers, they know, will never tire of dancing with their daughters. And Lions will never tire of helping out. Group hug for the pretty-in-pink girls. Even the finest of dancers need to take a rest and catch up on the news. Little girls have their own paparazzi when dads are around. Daughters can be a handful, but this father doesn’t seem to mind a bit. Even from the sidelines, the dance is fun, says Gibbs, a grandfather who has made it a tradition to bring his granddaughter to the dance. “We wouldn’t miss it,” he says. Time to take the princess home. Daddy’s beat!
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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