It's not just our dads who deserve to be celebrated

Cher in the City

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I think Luther Vandross said it best in his song Dance With My Father:

Back when I was a child, before life removed all the innocence

My father would lift me high and dance with my mother and me and then

Spin me around 'til I fell asleep

Then up the stairs he would carry me

And I knew for sure I was loved

If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him

I'd play a song that would never, ever end

How I'd love, love, love

To dance with my father again

How many of us have cherished memories of our fathers? Maybe it was when he taught you to ride a bike, or the first time you got sick and he was all you wanted (sorry Mom). Maybe your father was the first man to tell you you were beautiful, perhaps even the first man you danced with.

I have some great memories of times with my dad, but because I had a military father (he's retired now), I also have some great memories of my brother Lenny, who often had to fill in for him.

As a high school senior, I was a homecoming candidate. My dad was in Korea at the time, and it was a tradition that your father would be the one to escort you in the homecoming court. I was a little apprehensive about what I was going to do because my dad was in Korea and Lenny was away at Wofford College. He was on a football scholarship and had a game that afternoon.

Although he said he was going to try to be there, I was fairly certain there was no way he was going to play football that afternoon, then drive almost three hours to Augusta. I thought my mom was going to have to be my escort.

I was about to get into the convertible to go on the field, when I saw my brother walking toward me. He was wearing a blue suit and tie -- it actually matched my gown -- and he was smiling.

He's got a great smile.

As he reached the car, my eyes started to tear up. I said, "I thought you had a game."

He said, "I did: I played, we won, and then I left. I wouldn't have missed escorting you for anything in the world."

He handed me a white carnation and gave me a kiss and said, "That's from Pops."

When I think about Father's Day, I think about both my dad and my brother, and for some reason that moment always comes to mind.

Last year, I had the honor of taking my dad to the Father Daughter Dinner and Dance Gala put on by the Oneal Murphy Allstate Agency.

It was the first time I actually did get to dance with my father. This year I plan to take both my brother and my dad.

If you want to create some specials memories with your dad this Father's Day, perhaps you can join us. It's a beautifully elegant event and one that is bound to create memories you can cherish forever.

Making memories while you still can is important. Cherishing them when that's all you have left will one day be a precious gift.

To all the dads: Happy Father's Day.

If you go

WHAT: Father Daughter Dinner and Dance Gala

WHEN: 4 p.m. June 19

WHERE: Doubletree Hotel

Tickets: $6511 and older, $35 10 and younger; call (706) 790-4600


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