Arts & Entertainment

Clark, Garwood, Winfield Park Girl Scouts Create Special Memories at Father/Daughter Starlight Balls

Matt Erszkowicz and his daughter attended the 20th Annual Clark/Garwood Father/Daughter Starlight Ball Credits: Courtesy of Michelle Erszkowicz
Sofia and Uros Nikolic Credits: Courtesy of Janet Nikolic
Steve Donkersloot and his daughters attended the Starlight Ball on March 4. Credits: Courtesy of Steve Donkersloot
Tom and Tara Mulvihill Credits: Courtesy of Donna Mulvihill
Kaya and Rick Janocko. Kaya is a Daisy scout with Troop 41248 at Valley Road School Credits: Courtesy of Kelly Janocko
Joseph and Ella Stisi Credits: Courtesy of Devann Stisi
The Francavilla and Baglieri daughters. Credits: Courtesy of Nicole Francavilla
A photo booth was a new addition this year. The Frankavillas sent this fun photo strip. Credits: Courtesy of Nicole Francavilla
The Machado Family Credits: Courtesy of Susana Machado
Credits: Courtesy of Susana Machado
Credits: Courtesy of Susana Machado

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

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