Franklin Park Daddy-Daughter Dance an annual tradition for many
Lois O'Leary dances with her father Dan O'Leary at the annual Daddy-Daughter Dance at the Franklin Park Centre at North Park Saturday night. | Judy Fidkowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 14, 2013 8:16AM
FRANKLIN PARK — For most fathers and daughters, the song “Butterfly Kisses” pulls at the heartstrings.
“Every year my daughter Audrey and I dance to “Butterfly Kisses,”” said father Bob Thomas of River Grove. “That’s our special slow song. There’s always a couple tears when that song comes on.”
Thomas, along with several other fathers, danced with their daughters Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Daddy Daughter Dance.
Fathers and daughters were able to celebrate Valentine’s Day with dinner, dancing, and a raffle. A photographer took pictures of fathers and daughters which they were able to take home as a souvenir. Daughters received a flower and fathers received boutonnieres at the door. The menu included kid-friendly foods, such as chicken fingers, with beef sandwiches for the dads.
Thomas and his two daughters Audrey and Georgia have been attending every year. “My oldest daughter is 12 and we’ve been coming here since she was three,” Thomas said. “My girls look forward to it every year. It’s a big event for my family to come out.” Thomas’ daughter Audrey, 10, likes the DJ, food and bought a new dress.
“I was worried my dress wouldn’t come in on time,” Audrey Thomas said. “I love going to the Daddy Daughter Dance with my dad. He’s really nice. We like to play softball together.”
Lauren Yunevich also attends the dance every year.
“I like spending time with my dad,” she said. “He’s funny and he likes to joke around. I like going places with him.”
Her father agreed. “This is our 4th annual stop for the Daddy Daughter Dance,” said Lauren’s father David Yunevich. “It’s a great way to celebrate the holiday. It’s a chance to give mom a night off. Lauren and I can have a blast together. I’m just really blessed I get to spend time with my daughter.”
According to program manager Phyllis Schmidt, fathers and daughters have been coming out to this event for years.
“A lot of dads have made comments that it’s so exciting to be here because they get their picture taken and have a collection,” Schmidt said. “They get to see how their daughters have grown over the years. It’s very magical.”