The Odessa Record -

Mad Hatter's Ball Daddy/Daughter Dance


--Photos courtesy of Kaylene James.

Ariyah Nelson

On Saturday, March 24, I had the extreme pleasure of donating and building, with the much needed help of Tammy Tokas, a 25-ft.-long (give or take) balloon arch for The Mad Hatters Ball, the second annual daddy/daughter dance hosted by Go! Odessa Recreation.

I absolutely love creating these rubber works of art and it had been almost exactly 10 years since I had last built one. Although I know balloons haven't changed much in the last 10 years I was still extremely nervous. I kept imagining every scenario possible that could go wrong, but there we were two hours later looking at it completely finished. I felt my nerves subside, because it was a perfect fit for the dance. At that moment I thought I needed to visit the event and snap a few pictures, maybe even talk to a girl or two and ask what the evening meant to them.

The dance was scheduled to go from 6 to 9 p.m., so I grabbed Tammy Tokas and we headed back down at about 7 p.m., hoping everyone would be there in full dance mode.

When we arrived and stepped through the rabbit hole, a special father-daughter dance for the girls had just come to an end. Thankfully, Kaylene James, founder and director of Go! Odessa Recreation had snapped some photos.

With pre-sale tickets available as well as at the door, the total number sold was 41, comprising 19 fathers and 22 beautiful daughters.

With a photographer nearby to capture those moments with free photos and a disc jockey on hand with the music, it was a guarantee the dance floor would always be occupied. Two-year-old Ariyah Nelson stole the show when she showed off her moves to Feel it Still by the group "Portugal. The Man."

I managed to corner and question three daughters, all fifth-graders: Reegan Carstensen, Mackenzie Lutz and Kenzy Kuchenbuch.

Question 1: What are your two favorite things here tonight?

RC: "The music and decorations."

ML: "The theme and music."

KK: "The music and DJ."

Question 2: Did you attend last year's Daddy-Daughter Dance?

RC: "Yes."

KK: "Yes."

ML: "Well, we had something come up, so no I wasn't able to come last year."

Question 3: Did you look forward to this year's dance?

KK: "Yes."

ML: "Yes."

RC: "Yes."

Question 4: Why?

Ryan Scrupps dances with daughter Kjersten at the Mad Hatter's Ball March 24.

All three girls at the same time said, "Because we hardly ever get to see our dads, because they are always at work. This way we can see them and spend time with them."

ML: "Especially my dad because he has three jobs." (Editor's note: Talking about her dad Abby Reyes).

It was a wonderful event with a great turnout. Smiles were everywhere to be seen, on the faces of both daughters and dads. Even James's face had a smile, although she was exhausted after a full day of decorating. All the daughters looked beautiful in their fancy dresses and with their hair done. The dads cleaned up rather well also.

If you would like to make a donation toward future events hosted by Go! Odessa Recreation, contact Kaylene James at 509.350.9848 or email her at Visit the Go! Odessa Recreation facebook page at


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 11/14/2019 05:41