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While many high school girls are getting excited about prom season, younger girls in the Valley are also thinking about fancy spring dresses and hair styles.

Many girls in the community are looking forward to a highlight of the year - a special night out with dad or another father figure that happens 6-9 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at Owen High School. The school’s Key Club, a youth extension of the local Kiwanis Club, is putting on the Daddy Daughter Dance for the 10th year.

Andy Banzhoff is a lucky daddy. Soon he gets to accompany his two daughters, Anna, a seventh-grade student, and Ava, a fourth-grader, to the dance. He’s gone with them to the dance for several years now, sharing the excitement and anticipation. He also enjoys seeing the assorted dance moves.

Ava looks forward to getting dressed up, seeing friends and spending time with her dad. It’s one of her favorite times with him, she said.

Ten years ago, Martha Griffin, now retired but then an Owen High teacher and Key Club staff liaison, proposed the idea, basing it on something she had been a part of at a school in Florida. The event continues to be a popular outing in the Valley.

Dad Jason Burk plans the spring family schedule around the event. He would not miss it unless he had to, , he said.

“It’s so much fun to be with your daughter and other dads and daughters at the event,” he said. At over 6-foot-5, he’s hilarious when he enters the limbo contest, he said. He tries to have an occasional “date night” with his daughter Laila, a seventh-grader. But as she has gotten older and busier with activities, opportunities like the Daddy Daughter Dance are especially valuable to him.

The dance serves as an important opportunity for Owen High to welcome the community inside its doors, said Jackie Dirscherl, Key Club staff liaison. Because high schools can be a little intimidating, the Key Club enjoys having the chance to show prospective students and members of the public what the school and the club are like. The club also likes being able to offer an event that helps family members nurture important relationships as well, she said.

“We love when uncles, grandfathers, or any other father-type figures bring their girl to the dance,” Dirscherl said. There is no dress code, though most people where something semi-formal.

Organizers hope this year’s Disney princess theme, “Once Upon a Time,” will draw a good crowd of girls in the second grade on up. Various Disney princesses will be used as event decorations. The event includes a catered dinner, dancing and a partner photo keepsake. A photo booth will be set up as well.

Tickets, available until May 11 on a first-come basis, can be purchased at the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce. The cost is $30 for a pair and $10 for each additional girl in your party. Only 150 tickets will be sold.

The Key Club engages in service projects at the school and around the community throughout the year.

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