CLARK, NJ - The 20th Annual Clark/Garwood/Winfield Park Girl Scouts Father/Daughter Starlight Ball was held over two weekends in March.  Girl Scouts, from kindergarten-aged Daisies and up, invited their fathers or father-figures to attend the special "grown-up" affairs held in Scotch Plains. 

Girls wore their prettiest dresses and dads put on their finest suits for a memory-making "date night." Moms spent the day helping girls get ready - and, in some cases, finding a florist to make a last-minute corsage! 

According to event organizer Susana Machado, nearly 400 girls and their fathers attend the annual dinner dances.  A DJ, Clark resident Sergio Henriques, provides the music and photos are taken by Vin Piciocchi, also of Clark. New this year was a photo booth for candid photos.

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A hula-hoop contest is usually the highlight of the night, Machado said.  She thanked Clark recreation director Ralph Bernardo for providing the hula-hoops.

"We went on March 4 and had a great time," Steve Donkersloot said. "I got to spend more time with my girls and have a few daddy/daughter dances.  It was so nice to see the amount of dads spending time with their girls."

Machado said she and co-coordinator Jamie Hovick spend a considerable amount of time organizing the event, but the joy on the girls' faces and the pride in the fathers' eyes make it all worth it.

"It's so adorable watching the dads picking up their daughters, young and older girls, and dancing with them," Machado said. "Some dads, like my husband, actually carry two girls during the daddy-daughter dances. It's a very sweet event." 

Thank you to TAPinto Clark readers who shared their photos of the special night.  If you'd like to have your photos added, please email them to sbonnell@tapinto.net.

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