Van Buren School District’s father-daughter dance is set for Monday, Feb. 6, to benefit the district’s IMPACT meal program.
Tickets to A Night at the Ball Father-Daughter Dance held at the Van Buren High School Commons will be $10 per person, and the dance will include students in kindergarten through fifth grade. The dance will be from 6-8 p.m.
Money raised during the dance will go to benefit the school district’s IMPACT program, which provides food boxes to hungry students and their families during extended breaks such as the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Tom Watkins, director of the Van Buren Fine Arts Center, is the IMPACT coordinator and dance organizer.
“We do the father-daughter dance as a fundraiser, and it’s really critical,” Watkins said. “But it’s also fun for the kids.”
This year’s dance will have better lighting, making for a “party” atmosphere, Watkins said. Seven Disney princesses, theater students in costume, also will be in attendance, he said.
Other special features of the dance include a red carpet runway, announcement of each girl’s entrance as “princess,” tiaras for each girl attending, and a free 5 inch by 7 inch photograph from Heritage Portraits.
Last year’s father-daughter dance was the first fundraiser for IMPACT, which stands for “I can help” and Meals Provided At Critical Times. About 600 people participated in the 2016 dance and raised $6,000 for IMPACT.
“We expected to sell 300 tickets - we thought if we could sell that it would be a success - and we sold twice that,” Watkins said.
Organizers had planned to do three food distributions during a school year - at spring break, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Because of the success of the dance, organizers did three distributions at the end of the 2015-2016 school year at spring break, Easter and Memorial Day, and three since the beginning of the new school year, Watkins said.
A total of about 1,000 boxes was given out during those six distributions, he said.
As the fundraiser grows, it provides more potential for the IMPACT program to expand, even into the summer, Watkins said.
IMPACT food boxes provide enough food for about two meals a day for a week for a family of four, and larger families may be able to obtain a second box. Boxes can be picked up or delivered.
Tickets for the dance are available online at Centerforfinearts.org or at the central administrative office. Scholarships are also available for those wanting to attend.