WESTFIELD, NJ — The Jefferson School first grader and her father were looking forward to what would be Cameron King’s first “daddy-daughter dance.” But when they attempted to register, they found the popular event had sold out.
Cameron had experienced a rough past several months and so learning that the town-wide tradition sold out came as hard news for the 6-year-old, her mother, Kara King, said.
“When we told her that there was no dance that was even more devastating for her, and I was just like ‘No, I can’t let this happen,’” Kara King told TAPinto Westfield.
And so, she didn’t.
Kara King, who runs a side business planning parties, with the help of local parents Meredith Wearley and Marcus Mattielli, has organized a second daddy-daughter dance to be held at the nearby Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains. Organizers are calling it the “Me & My Guy Dance.”
“Within a week we went from 12 people to 60,” King said on Friday. “Now we’re at 90 people, and we’re hoping to get even more. ‘Shack’s’ capacity can have up to 300.”
It is not unusual for the town’s official daddy-daughter dance to sell out, said Don Bogardus, director of the Westfield Recreation Department, which organizes the annual event.
“It’s a program that the department has been running for years, and for the three years that I’ve been here, it has sold out,” Bogardus said.
The dance to be held at the Westwood reception hall in neighboring Garwood will accommodate over 550 people this year, he said.
“The limit is really set by the fire officials in Garwood where the Westwood is located,” Bogardus said.
Kara King hopes that next year the town could find an even larger venue.
“I would love for it to be maybe one big inclusive event, where everyone from town is able to go to one thing,” she said.
If you go:
The “Me & My Guy Dance” will be held 5 — 8 p.m., Sunday, March 8, at Shackamaxon Country Club, 100 Tillinghast Turn, Scotch Plains. Suggested for grades first through fifth, the event will include dancing, dinner, crafts and a photo booth. The cost is $40 per person. To register, email Kara King at KaraDrexel@hotmail.com.
Email Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @MattKadosh