Images: Love is in the Air at the Daddy Daughter Dance

Couples enjoyed dancing, socializing and plenty of cupcakes at Saturday’s Valentine’s Day-themed event in Berkley.

When a girl’s first true love is her daddy, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to take his arm and head straight to the Daddy Daughter Dance?

That's just what approximately 90 couples did Saturday night at the .

The dance, which had been scrubbed during a round of city cutbacks early in the last decade, returned to the schedule for a fourth successive year, according to Scott Jennex, recreation programmer at the Berkley Department of Parks & Recreation.

A partnership with the Berkley Junior Women’s Club brought the dance back to life, along with other events such as the Halloween Spooktacular and Breakfast with the Bunny, Jennex said.

“The Junior Women’s Club has been a great partner, as have a number of other community groups and event sponsors,” said Jennex, who also acknowledged for its donation of corsages for the event.

Leslie Wills, administrative assistant at Berkley Parks & Rec, took keepsake photos for couples to take home.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by Night and Day Productions and was sponsored by Berkley-Huntington Woods Youth Assistance.

“The DJ, Paul Chimenti, does such a great job,” Jennex said. “There are specialty dances, which are the girls' favorites, with some classic stuff and newer songs everyone recognizes from the radio. Fast dances bring the girls to the dance floor, but there are also some slow dances for couples to do together.”

The 25-member Berkley Junior Women’s Club conducts fundraisers throughout the year specifically to support community programs such as the Daddy Daughter Dance, club president Cinda Coon said. She worked with Sue Rinaldi of the Berkley Junior Women’s Club to coordinate the event and decorate the Community Center with tables, candy heart centerpieces and plenty of cupcakes, cookies and punch.

“This event is so sweet,” said Coon, who owns in Berkley. “Some dads really go all out and get into it, and of course, the girls are in their Sunday best. It’s a great date night for them.”

Makayla Phillips, 8, has attended the dance with her dad, Dan Phillips, 46, for three years in a row.

“I like how you get to dance with Dad,” said Makayla, who lives in Berkley. “I like the slow dances.”

Dan agreed about the dancing, but added, “She really likes the cookies, too.”


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