Father-Daughter Bonds Strengthened at YMCA

New Mother-Son Event Planned for March 14

Every January for the past 10 or so years, Emily Wiese reminds her dad, Dan, to get tickets for the annual Snowflake Ball at the Don Sjogren Community YMCA.

Although Emily is now a sophomore in college at Concordia University in Seward, this year was no exception.

“One of my favorite yearly traditions is dressing nicely with my dad and going out on our date,” Emily said. “Just having this special evening to spend time with him gives me the opportunity to show him how much I appreciate everything he’s done for me. Coming back from college for one evening is the least I can do to repay him!”

Emily said the event gives her and her dad an opportunity to dress up and spend quality time together.

“My dad and I really enjoy coordinating our outfits, and I always get to feel like ‘Daddy’s Little Princess,’ even as I get older,” Emily said. “The night is truly special because of the YMCA’s efforts to make this night perfect for every dad and his daughter.”

Although the agenda may vary each year, the event typically includes a nice meal, dancing and a craft.

“My favorite craft that we’ve done at the Snowflake Ball is a paper my dad wrote for me that told me 10 reasons why he loves me,” Emily said. “This craft took place quite a few years ago, but I still have it hung on my wall in my room.”

Dan also has a memento of the Snowflake Ball close to him as he keeps the craft they made together at the first Snowflake Ball in his office.

Dan said he mostly enjoys just spending time with his daughter at the event, and the dancing.

“She’s quite a good dancer, so it is fun to have her show me the moves,” he said.

He said the event reminds them to take time out of the busyness of life and spend time together.

“Now, with us both being busy in school and work, the Snowflake Ball is a chance for us to put other things aside just to be together,” Dan said. “I get to hear what’s going on in her life and am reminded that she is a wonderful young woman.”

Emily said one of her favorite quotes by Anne Geddes is, “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.”

“I think it’s really important that dads take time out of their schedules to spend time with their daughters and form that close bond,” Emily said. “My dad and I have always been really close, and we never let that relationship fade away. I return to the Snowflake Ball every year to try and set an example for the other dads and daughters to show that even as I get older, my dad is still my dad. We both look forward to every February when we can set aside time to spend with each other, just the two of us. I especially appreciate the opportunity to show my dad that he still means a lot to me, even if I’m not around as often.”

Emily said that having a good relationship with her dad has shaped her life “in every way possible.”

“Dad has been (and always will be) my hero, and my go-to for everything,” Emily said. “Whenever someone asks me who I look up to or who I want to be like, my immediate answer is always my dad. Not only has he showed me how to live my life following Christ, he has always set the perfect example of humility, kindness, and compassion toward others. Growing up watching how he loves my mom showed me what to expect in a future spouse, and how I should love that person in return. I always thought, if I could find a person half as good as my dad, I’d be set!”

Emily and Dan were two of more than 135 dads and daughters who attended the YMCA’s Snowflake Ball on Feb. 1, 2020. The event is offered each year as a special opportunity for dads and daughters to connect to strengthen their families.

Moms and sons will have their chance to connect at a new mom and son event this spring called Cookies, Cocoa and Canvas, a mother-son paint day on Saturday, March 14. HHS graduate and now art teacher Lindsay Warning will lead moms and sons in painting a picture on canvas while they enjoy cookies and hot cocoa.

For more information about YMCA family programs or to register for the Cookies, Cocoa and Canvas event, please contact the YMCA at (308) 995-4040 or visit www.ymcaoftheprairie.org

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