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A father-daughter dance to remember

It was a magical evening, where fathers and daughters stepped onto the dance floor, hand in hand, and embraced the beauty of the moment at the Orange Heart Foundation-hosted Father-Daughter Dance. It was an opportunity to create lasting memories, fostering bonds to last a lifetime.

Ysidro Castro came with his daughter Violet, "She's my baby, and I want to show her I'm always going to be here for her, and I think this is a good chance to bond with her.

"It also brings out our free spirit with each other. We don't always have to be serious. We can enjoy each other's company, laugh and have fun."

Eddie Velasquez and his daughter Vianey said the night was special. "We've been coming to these since the very first Father-Daughter Dance. It's a tradition for me and her."

"What I like best is that my daughter likes to dance, so this is like a semi-date to go and dance together and hang out. It's something we look forward to all year long. The older she gets, the less we hang out, so these times are special."

He said it was a good turnout. "It's always a good time to see the small town get together with all the dads and their daughters. It's good to see the guys I grew up with being good dads and fun dads."

For Anthony Salazar, who came with Juliana Gutierrez, it was emotional. "She's my stepdaughter, and she asked me to come with her and that meant a lot to me. It's going to build a connection that will be more like a father-daughter instead of a stepfather-stepdaughter."

"Tonight is a night for the young ladies in Wasco," Esgar Rodriguez said. "It was an honor to be Jeneve's date tonight. I will always remember how beautiful she looked. The best thing in life is the memories we make."

A highlight of the dance was an appearance by Miss Wasco Rose Queen Esmeralda Rodriguez: "This was my first-ever Father-Daughter Dance. It was such a beautiful experience. It was so cute to see the little girls dressed up and with their dads enjoying it. They were so excited, just as I was excited to see them."

Orquidea Ocampo and her OHF team have been putting on the event for almost a decade. "We were inspired because the community didn't have a father-daughter dance, and we always tried to fill the need. We hosted the first dance in 2016."

She said it has evolved over the years. "We've had a lot of support from the community. We started it at the Wasco Recreation and Parks District, and now we are holding it at Palm Avenue Middle School because it's been so successful, and every year, it gets bigger and bigger."

Ocampo added that the dance is impactful for the fathers and daughters. "They make memorable moments. It's an event that once they experience, they return year after year. They get to spend quality time together. It's just special for them; no moms are present, and this day is dedicated to the father and daughter."


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