Every little girl wants to feel like a cherished princess - to have a special day to dress up and feel treasured and wanted.
Cherished Center will be holding this magical evening on Sunday, June 6, at the Arnolds Park Amusement Park property. Join DJ Spin X at the famous Roof Garden ballroom for an evening of dancing, carnival games, photo booths, and cupcakes. When you need a break from dancing, ride down the famous Funhouse Slide in the Arnolds Park Museum or try one of the new opportunities this year, a ride on the Arnolds Park Ferris Wheel or horse and carriage rides down Lake Street.
“The Cherished Daughter’s Dance provides an opportunity for a positive male role model to create an evening of intentional investment in a girl’s life,” Cherish Center’s Executive Director Shantel Pausley said. “Through purposeful relational investment, vulnerability factors in a child’s life can be decreased, and when vulnerabilities become less, the opportunity for confidence in the rest of life soars.”
Formerly known as the Father-Daughter Dance, Cherish Center strategically changed the name to encompass all little girls.
“While the name had good intentions, unfortunately, there are many who don’t have a father in their life, and they were reminded of this every time the event came around. While counselling girls during this time, I realized the name triggered trauma and they experienced secondary loss,” Pausley explained.
During a discussion about the event, Board President Jamin Trautman stated.“The word cherished means you are valued and wanted. It gives hope and an opportunity to start anew. Every single one of these girls are cherished by God and that is the message we want to pass onto them.”
The Cherish Center, once known as Shepherd’s Fold Ministries, was established as a non-profit corporation in the fall of 1999. It has focused this past year on repositioning and re-branding themselves to show the community how their programs work together to support their cause to make a difference in people’s lives. The Cherish Center is a sustainable organization offering faith based, life-changing services for families to be strengthened and renewed through care and compassionate support.
The First Dance
The very first Father-Daughter Dance was held December 1, 2007, at the St. Joseph Catholic Church. Organized as a fundraiser for Cherish Center, Brad Simington and his wife Laurie helped plan the event. Eric Meeter was the DJ, Traci Valen photographed the princesses, and snacks and drinks were donated by local businesses. The first year there were approximately 50 families in attendance.
However, it was a special invite Simington received prior to the dance that birthed the idea. “My daughter Taylor and I were invited by a friend from Storm Lake to join him and his daughter at a Father-Daughter Dance in Storm Lake, which had been ongoing for several years,” Simington remembered. “We had a fabulous time! The whole time we were there I was thinking this is great, and we should do this in Okoboji. I came home and told Laurie about it, who was on the Board of Directors for Cherish Center at the time, and we both thought this would be a great event for Cherish Center to not only sponsor but hopefully benefit from.”
Several years later, the dance outgrew the church and was moved to the Boji Bay Event Center, where ice cream sundaes, games, and face painting were added. A highlight was always sliding down the Arnolds Park slide. In 2016, the event had over 800 in attendance. In 2019, the event was moved to the Bridge’s Bay Event Center.
“I really enjoyed the intentional time with my daughter and the opportunity to model what a date should look like,” Simington said. “Because your daughter will never forget the night, dressing up, maybe going out to eat, and dancing at least one slow dance of ‘Butterfly Kisses’ with dad! You don’t have as many years as you think to positively impact your daughter during her younger and very impressionable years.”
2021 Cherished Daughters Dance
Those interested in purchasing family tickets for the 2021 Cherished Daughters Dance may do so at buy.tututix.com/CherishCenter. Tickets are $45 (per family) in advance or $50 at the door. Scholarships are available if needed, contact the Cherish Center directly. The first 100 tickets purchased will enter a princess into a drawing for one of two “PRINCESS PACKAGES,” which will include hair, nails and makeup to be done by Bre Zigrang, Wild Roots Salon, in Spirit Lake, as well as a $50 gift certificate toward a dress at the Wild Child and a $50 gift certificate for dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant on the night of the event. Winners will be chosen at random and announced on May 14 on the Cherish Center Facebook page. Winners will also be contacted directly. The Wild Child will also be offering 20% off dresses and shoes for any little girls attending the dance and the Waterfront Restaurant will be offering 10% off all meals for fathers and daughters the evening of June 6. Pausley stated, “We continue to be so thankful for the outpouring of support this community continues to give for this event.” If you are interested in supporting or volunteering for this event, please contact the Cherish Center.
The Cherished Daughters Dance is not limited to just fathers and daughters, but any positive influential men willing to bring an extended family member or friend to the event.
“This event is one night where all of my energy goes 100% to my daughters. It gives me a chance, thanks to the Cherish Center, to plan something special with them. From shopping for a dress, getting to dress up, having dinner together and going to the dance itself, it is certainly a night we all look forward to and remember,” Scott Trautman shared. “I think the relationship between a father and a daughter is so important and I’m thankful for the evening.”
The funds raised from the night go back towards Cherish Center’s mission of sharing how, “Every life and every story is valuable no matter the circumstance,” Pausley stated. “We seek to infuse compassion and care into the lives of the people we serve.” One way this is done is through the Cherish House, which provides expectant mothers and their children a safe, compassionate, and faith-based home environment. This home empowers them on their journey toward independence by creating avenues of hope and healing. “The House is the heartbeat of our mission,” Pausley said.
The Cherish Center has recently repositioned itself and is re-branding with a simplified and consistent new look across their portfolio of services. “We wanted something new, fresh and unifying,” Pausley said. “Moving forward, we are boldly pursuing the visual integration of our thrift shop and our service programs that have always worked together to make a difference in people’s lives.” The Cherish Center provides an invitation to community, hope and renewal.
Besides changing the name of the Father-Daughter Dance, the organization’s thrift shop “Thee Garage Sale” is being renamed to “Cherished Again.”
Cherish House has recently been restructured to provide enhanced prenatal and postnatal care for expectant mothers and their children. “We want every mother and child who lives at the Cherish House to feel like they are part of a family and to know they are cherished by God,” Pausley said.
For more information on Cherish Center and their ministries, visit cherishcenter.org.