Dancing delights

Girl Scout party brings fathers and daughter for special dance

Photo with no caption
By Lance Coleman
Senior reporter
Blount Today

Was it the beauty of their "dates" that brought John Norris to his knees and got Jason Gutradge to "boogie down" to the music?

Possibly, because Norris and Gutradge were dancing with girls who stole their hearts years ago, when they were newborns.
The two were the "Father" part of the father/daughter equation at the annual Girl Scout Father/Daughter Dance last
weekend at First United Methodist Church of Maryville.

About 200 young ladies and 200 dads packed the gymnasium of the church for the dance, which was hosted this year by Girl Scout Troop 376. Girls came from more than 20 different troops from throughout Blount County.

Michelle Gruetzmacher, a den mother with Troop 376, said the annual event is one of her favorite things in Girl Scouting.

There is plenty of primping and choosing dresses and fixing hair, Gruetzmacher admits, but the life lessons the girls learn is
much more important than what they wear or how they fix their hair, she says.

"For me, personally, I want these girls to know how they should be treated when they go out when they’re older," Gruetzmacher said. "I want their dads to show them how to be treated with respect."

Gruetzmacher said the event is something she looks forward to each year with her daughters, Erin and Emma. "It’s my absolutely my favorite thing about Girl Scouts, and this was my first year being in charge of it. I had a ball with it, and the girls got a kick out of it."

Gruetzmacher said the girls looked beautiful and grown up. "They were gorgeous. They were dressed up to nines with little corsages and their hair all done up," she said.

Gruetzmacher said she has been working with Girl Scouts for seven years. This was the first year her troop has hosted the dance, and she said she was proud of the girls in her troop.

"I have watched them grow enormously. They’ve developed so much self-confidence and putting on a dance like this shows them what they’re capable of doing," she said. "They did it with a lot of adult help, but they did it."

The girls made 250 corsages with help from adults. They also picked the music and decorated the facility. "They were very, very involved," she said.

Gruetzmacher said the troop added their own touches to the event. "We wanted to put our own personal touch to it," Gruetzmacher said. "We hope to keep doing it."

Admission was charged and the turnout was so great that it not only covered expenses but was a fundraiser for the troop.
Gruetzmacher said that after expenses were paid from the dance, the additional funds will help pay for the troop’s summer
trip to Savannah. "It was definitely a fund raiser," she said.

There are 11 girls in Troop 376. They are Ashley Griffith, Claire Blackstock, Dori Martin, Erin Gruetzmacher, Haven Spanyer,
Laura Roberts, Lindsay Markham, Lyndia Schlitt, Rachel Keeble, Sarah Dwyer and Savannah Able.

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