Camila Bass & JJ Montelongo

Camila Bass, 4, enjoys the craft making time with her cousin JJ Montelongo, 16, who accompanied her to the second annual Father Daughter Dance held Saturday at the Community Center.

SUNNYSIDE — The smell of popcorn permeated the air as young girls and their fathers and father figures entered the Sunnyside Community Center on Saturday, Feb. 8, for the second annual Father Daughter Dance. Fairy lights, blue and white tissue paper fluff spheres, and large paper snowflakes hung high from the ceiling in accordance to this year’s “Ice Dance” theme.

Young girls and their fathers were dressed in their finest clothes as they excitedly took their pictures in front of a snowy backdrop and saw all the activities awaiting them. Volunteers from the Sunnyside High School Key Club, Heritage University and the Miss Sunnyside Court oversaw activities such as making paper snowflakes, making stick people, and face painting. Snow cones of various flavors, fruit and veggies, cheese puffs, and other small snacks were made available to eat.

Camila Bass, 4, enjoyed a snow cone while her cousin, JJ Montelongo helped her place stick figure pieces in order. When asked if Camila enjoyed her snow cone she nodded emphatically, beaming with delight. Montelongo was asked by the young girl’s mother to accompany her to the event which the 16-year-old agreed to, saying “I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” showing that father figures can come in many forms.

Aubrey Diaz, 5, did not hesitate to take to the dance floor, eventually drawing in her father, Jesus Diaz, to join her to enjoy the music DJ Garin Moore provided for the event creating a fun and light atmosphere.

The event had a large turnout. Lander Grow, City of Sunnyside Recreation Coordinator, says he would like to continue these events for the foreseeable future.

The City also has a Mother Son dance planned for March 21 with a Lego theme. The recreation team hope to draw in as many mothers and sons as they have fathers and daughters.

Elizabeth Sustaita can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email

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