Women and little girls can’t help but become emotional when they hear the song ‘Dance with My Father’ by Luther Vandross, which became a hit in 2003 and a Grammy Song of the Year winner in 2004. Girls who can relate have a story behind the song relating to their father. The same feeling came over Corporal Nicol “Nick” Harvey when he noticed the posters of Central Elementary School in Van Buren, Arkansas, announcing the upcoming Father-Daughter dance, an event anticipated by most school girls.
Remembering that all his daughters were grown-ups, he sadly exclaimed that he would no longer get to attend such events. “I didn’t think I’d ever get to experience it again,” said Harvey.
Incidentally, there were a couple of girls who did not have a father to escort them to the much-awaited event. Learning of their predicament, Van Buren’s Police Chief Jamie Hammond decided to share a brilliant idea with the school. He shared that there are a couple of his police officers who can accompany these girls to the event. Soon, Harvey and Hammond had a meeting with the school’s guidance counselor and learned the sad story of an 8-year-old girl who recently lost her father. Her name is Avey Cox.
Avey lost her father in 2020 when she was in second grade. Avey’s mom, Angelia Bernard, told TODAY, “They were very close. Avey wanted to go to the dance but didn’t have anyone to take her.” School events like these are memorable to any young girl. Being accompanied by their fathers to special occasions, such as a Father-Daughter dance, gives them a chance to enjoy their childhood. However, not every little girl is provided with the privilege and a priceless memory.
Officer Harvey did not hesitate to ask for Avey and her mom’s approval. As expected, Avey and her mom immediately approved. After all, not everyone would extend a helping hand to make a little girl’s dream come true. Avey has a father figure who would accompany her to the dance, and Officer Harvey gets the chance to relive the feeling of attending a dance with a little girl he considers his daughter. It’s a WIN for them both.
“I bought a new tie and handkerchief to match Avey’s dress, and I ordered a corsage,” said Corporal Harvey. “Every time I saw her at school, she’d remind me of how many days it was until the dance.” They even rented a Hummer limousine to take them to the dance! It was all made possible by Officer Harvey and 5 other dads.
Avey and Officer Harvey enjoyed the luxurious ride that they will cherish for a lifetime. He was impressed that Avey was very calm, considering it was her first time to ride such a luxury car. Harvey said, “It was nice to watch Avey just taking it all in.”
Harvey and Avey stopped for pizza before the dance and grabbed ice cream after the event. He really went above and beyond his duty and treated Avey as his own daughter. He prioritized the girl’s happiness and enjoyment and ensured that he provided the purest form of love a father could ever give to his daughter.
At the party, Harvey and Avey communicated with another girl. He recalled that beautiful moment and said, “Another little girl that was with our party asked, ‘Is this your dad?’ and Avey said, ‘No, this is our school resource officer.”
“I looked at Avey, and then I said, ‘Well, tonight I’m her dad,’” the officer added. Feeling proud of his answer, Avey leaned her head on his arm as a sign that she agreed. It was a priceless moment that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
Recalling the unforgettable moments they had on the special event, Harvey explained, “I know she’s not my kid, but for a couple of hours, it felt like she really was. I even get to twirl her. We’ve really become best friends through all this.”
Avey’s mother, Angelia, shared that she has become more joyful and more positive about life after the Father-Daughter dance. “It was such a bright spot in the hard month we’ve had. Avey keeps saying it was the best night ever,” she explained.
Fathers play an important role in their children’s lives, especially during their daughter’s childhood. For all fathers, cherish every moment with your children and continue creating unforgettable moments with them.
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