Grand Rapids Mayor Proclaims July 18 ‘Father Daughter Day’

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Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss has proclaimed July 18, 2017, and every July 18 henceforth, as “Father Daughter Day” in Grand Rapids. Citing the benefits an active and involved father, Mayor Bliss designated the day a time for all fathers to spend time with their daughters.

We are hosting a special Daddy Daughter Time Play Day event at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum on Tuesday, July 18 from 6-8 p.m. The event will include admission to the museum, free food and drink, puppet shows from Kevin Kammeraad, prince and princess characters, face painting, and more. Pre-registration is requested.

“I encourage all of our citizens to join me in making this a wonderful community celebration of family,” Bliss stated in the proclamation.

Jana Hoglund, Daddy Daughter Time’s Vice President, elaborated on the focus of the father/daughter relationship. “Research has shown that teen pregnancy rates, suicide, and drug use is reduced while positive body image, test scores, and graduation rates go up when a father is actively involved in his daughter’s life” Hoglund said. “These are just a few of the reasons we do what we do.”

Thanks to support from Daddy Daughter Time’s title sponsor BISSELL, admission to the event will be a low $10 per person and is open to all fathers and daughters in West Michigan to attend.

This and all Daddy Daughter Time events are free to members of the organization. Memberships offer one event every month, at-home activities, giveaways, and more for $99 per year for one daughter and $129  per year for dads with more than one daughter making it an incredibly affordable option. Previous events have included hay rides, snow tubing, horseback rides, hair braiding events, and more throughout the year.

Horses! Letting Go of the Reins

By | Daddy, Daughter, Development, event, Fathers and Daughters, Independence, Memories, Parenting, Personality, Quality Time, Relationships | No Comments

download (1)I see 1,200 pounds of pure muscle snorting down on 35 pounds of determined innocence. The paternal instinct to rush in and protect the little girl looking up at the spotted horse hits my spine and she isn’t even my daughter.

I fight the urge to step in (or to say anything) because I know where we are and that this “introduction” is part of the process.

Minutes later, there’s a stable full of girls ranging from age 4 – 15 leading their designated horses around obstacle courses or over large teeter-totters. Next to them are fathers looking at their little girls in a whole new way. Within the hour, young women who had never been on a horse are sitting bareback on them and beaming from ear to ear.


The Daddy Daughter Time Horses! Event at Equine Assisted Development of the Great Lakes in Alto, MI was one of those “can’t stop smiling” days (even while I was shoveling up ‘horse apples’). The well-trained horses are accustomed to meeting new faces and Deb VanderBand, the founder and leader of this organization, knows how to empower even the littlest of women.

According to the organization’s Facebook page, EAD specializes in the development and enhancement of non-verbal communication skills, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem-solving, leadership, taking responsibility, teamwork, relationships, confidence, and attitude. In the two sessions with our groups of Dads and daughters, she touched on all of them.

Sometimes it’s hard as a father to “let go of the reins” and see what your daughter can do on her own. Watching her face challenges (much larger than her), solve problems, and find the strength to face her fears can make it difficult on a Dad who wants to help and protect. This is one of those environments where letting her take the lead is encouraged and it was so cool to watch them do just that.

Throw in the miniature ponies and mules, a trip up to the hay loft, Bags the barn cat, and a chance for some of the girls to feed the horses, and a memorable day was made for all who came out. (And special props go to Nick Gonzalez who dealt with the only feisty moment of the day – Dude, you looked like a genuine cowboy/superhero.)

A full gallery is up.  Please share it with other Dads and let them know about Daddy Daughter Time!

A huge thank you to goes to our presenting sponsor – Land Rover of Grand Rapids – for helping make the day possible. Not only do they sell quality vehicles, they’ve got some pretty awesome Dads working there, too.


If you like this, maybe you’ll like some of my other favorites: My New Morning Show,  Men Suck… , The Wonder of a Weed, and the G-Talk series

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