YMCA Father-Daughter Dance to celebrate 20th year

February 4, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – Fathers, save your first and last dance for your daughters – no moms allowed – on Friday at the 20th annual Florence Family YMCA Father-Daughter Dance.

The event will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology Center on the Florence-Darlington Technical College campus. Tickets are $25 per family and are available at the YMCA. All proceeds benefit the Florence Family YMCA Scholarship Fund.

Dorothy Krasias, the YMCA event coordinator, said the little girls always love the balloons the best. That is one thing she plans to have plenty of this year.

The event has been so well attend throughout the years that the venue had to change to accommodate the numbers, Krasias said. She said they started out hosting it in the YMCA gym. It was later moved to SiMT to accommodate the growing numbers. Last year, between 1,200 and 1,300 people attended.

Krasias said she knows of two fathers that have come with their daughters every year since it started.

C.B. Averitt is one of those fathers. He and his daughter, Margo, have attended every one. The first dance he said he carried her in his arms. She was 1 year old. The second year she discovered the balloons, and the third year she kicked the balloons all over the dance floor, he said.

Margo, now a sophomore at Clemson University, said she is one of the oldest girls there.

“It is so amazing, because every year I see new girls come,” she said. And she sees old friends, too.

“We are on our feet the whole time,” Margo said.

She said they seem to spend less and less time dancing because of all the new songs and dances.

“I think we still dance a lot,” C.B. said. “We stay active.”

Margo said she is by far the best dancer of the two.

“She will do a line dance, and I try to hang in there with her,” C.B. said.

Dancing is fun, but C.B. said his favorite aspect of the father-daughter dance is the tradition.

“I love spending time with my daughter,” he said.

“It has strengthened our father-daughter bond,” Margo said.

The Averitts have a photo page documenting each year they have attended the dance.

Margo said a new outfit is part of the experience.

C.B. said this is a special night for him and his daughter. He takes her out to eat at the restaurant of her choice.

“It is like a date,” he said. “I open the door for her. I adore this night.”

“I do, too,” Margo said.

C.B. said he probably shouldn’t admit this, but he tries to fulfill her every wish that night.

“I’ve never said it to her,” he said.

Margo said maybe this year she will ask to go to a really fancy restaurant.

The money raised at the dance goes to provide scholarships to families in need of assistance in the after-school program, Krasias said.

She said the community is always gracious in its assistance.

“Every bit of the goodies, snacks, drinks are 100 percent donated,” she said. “It is a very profitable event for us.”

She said last year they raised approximately $10,000, and all of it goes back into the community.

It is a night fathers and daughters will remember always, she said. She said some of the fathers really go all out to make it a special date with their daughters, wearing tuxedos and renting limousines.

“What a fabulous way to show a little girl how to be treated,” Krasias said.

For more information, contact the YMCA at 843-665-1234 or florenceymca.org.

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