RED VELVET DRESSES, beaded purses, capes, corsages and even faux fur -- it looked like Prom Night on Tuesday as Girl Scouts from Community 66 poured into Wilhelm's for the fifth annual Me and My Guy Dance.
For one glorious night, Dad, or another significant other, danced the Hokey Pokey, dined on scrumptious food, and got a glimpse of his little girl's future.
"Dad was supposed to go on a business trip but he told his boss that he was going out with me," said Dana Shaw from Mechanicsville Elementary School.
"There is nothing more important than tonight," said her father, Steve Shaw. "She looks so grown up. I took her mother to the senior prom and that doesn't seem so long ago. It won't be long before she goes to her prom," he said, pointing to Dana, who was tapping her red glitter shoes together.
Men canceled business trips, rearranged work shifts and even hobbled in on crutches to make it to their big night. George Bopst said he wouldn't have missed going to the dance with his daughter Jennifer, "for anything," though his foot has been in a cast since he slipped on ice six weeks ago.
Red glitter, white lace and perfectly coiffed hair were plentiful. Girls giggled in the bathroom and cheered if they won the red and white balloons in the center of each table.
They often coaxed their fathers into letting them have more than one dessert from the banquet table that was lined with five kinds of pie, ice cream and other treats.
Though a few guys sitting at one table joked about having the same sedentary dance moves, the dance floor was always packed.
When the music slowed, little girls hopped up into their dates' arms or stood on top of their shoes and rocked gently with the music. Fathers talked about not being ready for future dances like prom night, homecoming or their little girl's wedding.
Hundreds of pictures of Girl Scouts and their guys are probably hanging on refrigerators all over Carroll County, thanks to Maureen Kazaras, leader for Troop 1348. Kazaras kicked off her shoes, collected $1 bills, and took pictures nonstop for more than two hours.
"It's great seeing my daughter so excited," said Don Poole, who attended the dance with his daughter Joanna, from Girl Scout Troop 1226. "When we were getting dressed she said, 'Look pretty tonight, daddy.' "
About 450 people made reservations for the dance this year, the largest turnout, according to Wendy Zearfoss, who organized the event. Zearfoss is also leader for Cadet Troop 689 and a troop coordinator for the central part of the county.
Her husband, Joe, escorted their 13-year-old daughter, Sharon, to the dance and acknowledged that, like many of the fathers there, slow dances were more his speed.
"Once the music starts the girls race to the dance floor, and they are not self-conscious at all. So you don't mind being a goof for one night," he said.
"I like getting dressed up, going out, eating and dancing with my friends," said Kristen Shuffler, who went to the dance with her father, Henry. Kristen and her friends met in the lobby (sans fathers) a few times to talk about school and get away from the crowd.
Tony Roman, assistant leader for Troop 305, also ducked in and out of the lobby at the beginning of the festivities to make sure the girls in his troop had their tickets and table assignments. This was the third year he has escorted his daughter Diana to the Me and My Guy Dance.
"I like watching the expressions on the girls' faces," he said. "It's great to have a dad's thing, without moms, every once in a while."
Strange request: lint
If you have bags of lint from your dryer just hanging around, the art department at Charles Carroll Elementary School would love to have it. Students will use laundry lint for papier-mache sculptures and paper making.
Each time you collect a bunch, send it on its way to: Charles Carroll Elementary School, 3719 Littlestown Pike, Westminster 21158.
Pub Date: 2/15/99