Watching mothers and sons dancing and playing games, it was difficult to tell who was having more fun.
That was perfectly fine with Heather Chase. She was happy to see the event she created and organized be a success and leave people excited about next year.
The inaugural Mother and Son Date Knight, conducted Saturday night at the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour, drew more than 215 people.
Chase spread the word about the event on Facebook, and that’s how several attendees learned about it. It’s also how she got volunteers on board to help with planning and having 64 door prizes to give away.
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“In all honesty, I had to step away when the doors opened because I was taken aback by tears,” Chase said. “I just couldn’t believe the line of people. I can’t believe all of the cars. Our overflow parking is backed up. People are parking in the street. This has been an amazing first-year event.”
The “knight in shining armor” themed event was open to mothers and sons of all ages.
The dance floor, with disc jockey services donated by Josh Clark with Music in Motion, was in one corner of the gymnasium. Tables were set up for mothers and sons to take a break or enjoy snacks. Games were in the middle of the gym, while mothers and sons could get pictures taken together in another area.
Proceeds benefit the Fraternal Order of Police Donald M. Winn Lodge 108’s Cops and Kids program. Formerly known as Shop with a Cop, the program pairs children with local police officers on a shopping trip to Walmart in early December.
“I’m so glad that I did it through all of the hard work and all of the dedication that everybody gave to me,” Chase said.
“The FOP members stepped up and worked tonight so us moms could have the night off,” she said. “The prizes were amazing. Everything here was given away as donations. We didn’t purchase anything for a prize. I can’t thank the Boys and Girls Club enough for us to have this here. It has just been an amazing night, it really has.”
Chase said it was great to see the moms having as much fun as the sons. She even found time to hit the dance floor with her son, Blayke, 8.
“He gets his skills from his momma. I’m the one who cuts the rug, not him,” Chase said, smiling.
Marvina Chavarria of Vallonia said her sons, Logan, 6, and Jamison, 3, initially weren’t too sure about dancing. But once they arrived at the Boys and Girls Club and the music started, the boys didn’t hesitate showing off their moves.
“My sons were like, ‘I don’t want to dance, mom,’” Chavarria said. “I said, ‘Just come and have fun.’ That’s the main point.”
Chavarria said it’s not often she gets to dance with her sons.
“About a month ago, I decided to be a stay-at-home mom, so I have been away from my work at Aisin,” she said. “It’s so much a blessing because I get to spend more time with them.”
B.B. Frey read about the event on Facebook and headed to Seymour from Franklin to have some fun with her son, Karson, 9.
Karson said he liked playing games, dancing and tossing balloons around with his mom.
“I always want to spend time with my son,” Frey said. “I really love it.”
Chrissy Browalski of Brownstown also had a good time dancing with her son, Aiden, 8. They heard about the event from Chase, who is Aiden’s soccer coach.
“I thought it was a great idea because they always have father-daughter dances but nothing for mothers and sons,” Browalski said.
Aiden said he enjoyed playing with his friends and dancing with his mother.
As far as who had the best dance moves, Aiden said, “Most of them she showed me.”
“We were out there slow dancing, and I was just thinking how quick they go by when they are little, thinking about the next time he’s going to be at a dance is going to be maybe prom,” Browalski said.
“We had an awesome time,” she said. “I thought it was fantastic. It was such a good turnout for it being the first year of it.”
Lea Chandler and Kristi Murphy, both of Seymour, each brought two sons to the event.
Chandler was accompanied by her sons, Liam and Sammy. She said she saw the event on Facebook and knew she couldn’t pass it up.
“I think this should have been an event from years ago. I would have loved to have come with my oldest son,” she said.
Chandler said her sons were teaching her some moves on the dance floor.
“I have no moves at all,” she said, laughing. “We don’t dance a lot, so dancing with the kids was a hoot.”
Chandler also was drawn to the event with it benefiting Cops and Kids, which is something she said her family is involved with every year.
“I think the cause is awesome,” she said. “I think to incorporate community involvement, as well, and have a fun evening with boys and moms is great. It was a safe environment close to home.”
Murphy said her family also supports Cops and Kids because her husband works with the sheriff’s department. This past year, the family participated in Cops and Kids together.
“We took the boys and shopped with a family, and that was a great experience, so supporting that is great,” she said.
Murphy said she and her sons, Carter, 11, and Cooper, 10, had a good time Saturday.
“Watching the boys have fun and interacting with other boys and having a mom night out is kind of cool, too,” she said.
When next year’s Mother and Son Date Knight comes around, Murphy said she expects it to be an even bigger success.
“I think as the word gets out there that it was a fun evening, there were some families or moms that didn’t really know how it would go, so they didn’t want to come out,” she said. “But hopefully, through everybody having fun, they’ll learn this is a great event and come next year and have more people.”
Chase received a lot of positive feedback from the inaugural event, which has her excited for next year.
“This is definitely for sure something we’ll do again,” she said. “When I started this on a notebook paper at my kitchen table at 4 a.m., I never dreamed that it would all come to plan, but I envisioned it. I saw it all. I knew it could be this way. I just had to put in the time and the effort to do it, and I would do it all over 10 times again. I loved every minute of it.”