February 7, 2017 Written by Kaylen Miller, an intern for HottyToddy.com and a student of the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.
Tuesday night, Chick-fil-A’s 5th Annual Princess Ball had daddies, daughters (and mommas, too) gleaming while parading through the doors of The Jefferson across a red carpet to the ballroom floor, where daddies in their finest suits could sweep their sparkling princesses away in a dance.
The magical evening consisted of a delightful dinner followed by dessert, a chance to steal the spotlight in the photo booth, and arts and crafts for every princess to design something unique while creating memories to last a lifetime.
To top off the night, daddies and daughters witnessed possibly one of Oxford’s “fairest of them all” when a famous father of three girls of his own stood behind the mic and left the crowd in awe.
For Peter Pan, time may never be planned, but Ole Miss Football head coach Hugh Freeze reminded daddies that time does, indeed, go by quickly.
Freeze’s oldest daughter, Ragan, was 12 when the Freeze family moved to Oxford. Now, Ragan will soon be going to college while the younger two will be going into high school.
“It moves very, very fast,” Freeze said. “The question you’re going to ask yourself one day is, ‘Did I do enough?’ I’m struggling with that right now. It’s real, and it gets there in a hurry.”
Lance Reed, owner of Chick-fil-A in Oxford, said the ever-growing Princess Ball would not be possible without the tremendous community support that is poured into such an enchanting night.
“Even though it’s something that Chick-fil-A is doing, and it kind of goes with our corporate purpose – that we want to have a positive influence in the community – it really, truly is a lot of groups and organizations,” Reed said. “That’s one of the deals that we love about it and why we really look forward to doing it.”
Reed said that Oxford Floral has graciously donated roses for the princesses, Yoknapatawpha Arts Council has been more than helpful in designing the sets and themes, Home Depot has been instrumental in providing building supplies, and Holli’s Sweet Tooth has kept the desserts ever-sweeter with each Princess Ball that has passed.
“It’s grown incrementally every year,” Reed said. “This is a way that we’re able to have a positive influence in our community and dads and daughters’ lives. That’s why we do it; this is a community-wide event.”
One Oxford father, Danny Moore, brought his princesses to the ball for the third year in a row.
“It’s always just fabulous and a great bonding experience,” Moore said. “My daughters have been asking how much longer until this event since about October.”
After treating their princesses to a night to remember, most daddies, like Moore, left the 5th Annual Princess Ball with the words of Disney’s Mulan on their hearts: “The greatest gift and honor… is having you for a daughter.”