For the past 28 years, Cooper City has been hosting a daddy-daughter dance for its residents, the event having been recently moved to CCHS’ cafeteria. Each dance fosters a different theme, this year’s being Disney’s “Peter Pan.” Overnight, the school’s cafeteria transformed into neverland, from the warmly lit luminaries lining the path of the breezeway to the fairy lights hanging from the cafeteria ceiling.
Past themes have varied and although the main age group in attendance consists of elementary age girls, each event has been carefully crafted to ensure that it is enjoyed by each of its guests, which has definitely kept people coming back.
This year, Art and Samantha Yero celebrated their twenthieth anniversary of attending the event. “We first moved to Cooper city when I was in fourth grade and we wanted to do something that was community involved,” Ms. Yero said. “We ended up finding out about this dance and have been coming ever since.”
The Yeros aren’t the only pair with longstanding Cooper City traditions. Another dynamic daddy-daughter duo, Robert and Laura DiAlberto, have been attending the city’s annual daddy-daughter dance since the very first occurrence in 1989, despite some of the obstacles over the past 28 years.
“I lived in London for a semester of college and I flew home for it; I live in New York City now and I flew in to make sure I was here for the dance,” Ms. DiAlberto said. “I’ve been living there ten years and I flew home every time.”
The dance featured a game center with various board games, a former teacher’s lounge turned into a craft room for guests to create their own sand art, music, snacks and dinner catered by Vita’s Italian Restaurant.
Besides the immense planning poured into each decoration and craft activity featured, it is a night away and a chance for bonding between fathers and their daughters.
“It is the one night I get my dad completely to myself, I don’t have to share him with my siblings,” Ms. Yero said. “The dance allows girls to build a bond with their dads and create some memories.”
It isn’t only enjoyable for the daughters but for the fathers as well. “From a dad’s perspective I think it’s a neat thing for a dad and daughter to do,” Mr. DiAlberto said. “It’s a nice organized function and Cooper City has been doing it for so long it has become part of the community.”
The dance held fathers and daughters of all ages and helped to create an experience that will not be forgotten anytime. “The dance allows girls to build a bond with their dads and create some memories,” Ms. Yero said.
Cooper City is known for being “someplace special” and has continued to influence its residents even after they have left. Perhaps the best depiction of the imprint of the event was phrased by Ms. DiAlberto:
“My work, colleagues and friends in New York always know that in November I might not be home for Thanksgiving, but I’ll absolutely be home for this.”
Photo by Alexandra Sansone