A Knight of fun: Annual mother and son dance draws crowd


It’s a bond that is difficult to break from the moment a son enters this world.

The one shared with his mother who is to care for him, love him, play with him and be his biggest cheerleader.

Sometimes, life can get in the way with busy schedules, and it can be difficult to cut out time just between the two.

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But Saturday night, it was all about moms and their sons for the fourth annual Fraternal Order of Police Donald M. Winn Lodge 108 Mother/Son Date Knight.

About 150 mothers and sons gathered for a night of their own at the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour for dancing, games, snacks, photos and a bundle of fun.

All of the money raised from ticket sales, which organizers hoped would reach $1,500, goes to the FOP’s annual Cops and Kids program, which provides presents for children in the community at Christmastime.

Kelsey Yatsko brought her son, Nolen, 3, and attended with her sister, Kayla Hamm, and her son, Braxton, 2.

The group made a night of it, going out to eat at a local restaurant before attending the event.

“He’s my first child and he’s definitely a daddy’s boy, but this is a night where we get some quality time together,” Yatsko said. “My daughter is kind of stuck to mom right now, but here’s a chance to get out of the house and just have our own time.”

Hamm said it can be difficult carving out time just for her and her son because of her daughter’s gymnastics schedule and other events that come up. He isn’t old enough to start many of his own activities yet, but this event was just for her son.

“It’s nice to really put a spotlight on him,” she said, adding her husband took their daughter to the annual Girls Inc. Father Daughter dance in mid-February. “They did that, and now, we get our own little time.”

That’s how the event got started.

Heather Chase, who is a member of the FOP lodge, got the idea when she would see photos on social media about fathers attending a dance with daughter at Girls Inc. of Jackson County.

“There wasn’t anything for the moms and boys, so I put the feelers out there, and people were supportive,” she said.

Four years later, there is more support than ever, especially with fellow organizers Amy Peters and Tiffani Calhoun, Chase said. The Boys and Girls Club of Seymour donated the facility, Music in Motion provided disc jockey services, local residents purchased prizes to give away and Ernie and Janet Davidson provided photography.

“This community has come together for this event in ways I wouldn’t have imagined,” she said.

Chase said she was able to greet mothers as they entered and heard all of the feedback on how thankful they were to have such an event.

“It’s a pretty special night for a lot of people,” she said.

Local law enforcement helped serve concessions, accept tickets and volunteer in other ways. Some on-duty officers also stopped by the event to visit with the boys.

“Some boys don’t get any positive interaction with police, so this is an opportunity for that,” Chase said.

Those who attend also love the cause, providing gifts to children in need.

For Yatsko and Hamm, it’s actually quite personal. Their mother was a dispatcher with the Seymour Police Department and the Indiana State Police for a number of years.

“We still know a lot of the officers, and I think it’s great they’re helping out the community,” Hamm said.

Yatsko said it’s also an important lesson to remind her son how fortunate he is for what he has. When Nolen received a bunch of toys at Christmas, the family decided to find some toys he didn’t play with anymore to donate to those who could use them.

“He got rid of a lot of toys to take them to other kids,” she said.

Nolen, a young ball of energy, said he enjoys attending the event with his mom, but he also likes playing together at home.

“I like spending all the time with Mom,” he said. “I like playing basketball with her here and dancing. At home, I like playing together.”

Candace Foist brought her son, Brenton, 7, and they have attended the event three times.

The two went out for dinner, and Brenton took care of asking for napkins, requesting dessert for them and opening doors for his mother.

“He really stepped into Daddy’s shoes to take care of me,” she said.

Brenton said he enjoys the time he spends with his mother while they’re out and about or when they’re at home.

“We play games together, dance and do a lot of things together,” he said. “She takes care of me, protects me and she likes to play with me.”

Kenya Hillenburg brought her sons, Conner, 8, and Cooper, 1, with Katie Hall and her son, Bentlee, 3.

The Brownstown residents all picked out some new clothing, had dinner, the mothers did their nails and showed up for a night of fun.

“It’s great to be able to spend time with the boys,” Hillenburg said. “They’re just so sweet.”

Hall said she enjoys the relationship she has with her son.

“A mother and son’s bond is unbreakable,” Hall said. “Daddies can’t kiss boo-boos as good as mommies can.”

Chase has an 11-year-old named Blayke, and they spend time at drum lessons, basketball games, baseball games and more. She said that’s the point of the whole night, to celebrate that unique bond between a mother and son.

“If you have a son, you always have someone who’s on your team,” she said. “They’re in your corner to kill a spider, go first through the door for you or anything you need.”

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Facebook users were asked to submit their photos from the Mother/Son Date Knight.

Look for a photo page later this week of submissions from those who attended the event.


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