Parents could treat themselves to a holiday of food and fun, thanks to family-focused organizations.
A group called Dads Actualizing Divine Destinies Simultaneously (DADDS) Inc., along with community partners Action for Children and The Starts Within Organization, is hosting a Parents Night Out: Holiday Gala from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, Dec. 14, at Creekside.
Michael Hargrove, founder and CEO of DADDS, said most parents are so busy taking care of their families during the holidays that they forget to take care of themselves.
"Our holiday gala is a way for us to show appreciation to our local parents for one of the most important roles in the community, and that's raising and supporting our children," Hargrove said.
The holiday affair invites parents from Columbus and surrounding areas to enjoy a night of fun while raising awareness of central Ohio organizations that support and encourage family empowerment.
Guests will dine while enjoying a night of fun and entertainment featuring salsa and jazz musician Charles Cooper.
Gift giveaways will include a date-night-out basket, a spa package, a Speedway gas card and items from Golfsmith and Thirty-one Gifts.
"We really want to emphasize that even though its DADDS Inc., it's with heavy emphasis on mothers and fathers," Hargrove said. "This is a time when we want to give back to mothers of our children."
He said DADDS was started as a support group, talking over coffee in July 2004.
"I wasn't married at the time my child was born," Hargrove said. "I put my daughter in a compromising position not being in a marital relationship with her mother. Kids are more vulnerable when brought in those situations. I just wanted to do better than where I came from. I couldn't find programs catered to fathers in the nonprofit sector and no government programs."
Since then, DADDS has expanded into an organization that focuses on empowering fathers to become pillars of their families and communities.
Its mission is to provide fathers with opportunities to succeed in balancing their families and careers and understanding their rights and responsibilities.
"This is by no means a single-father organization, a rich, poor or middle-income organization," Hargrove said. "It's a father organization. We want individuals to understand that. If you ask any father who has a girl, 'Do you know how to do your daughter's hair?' They say heck no."
The holiday gala will serve as a mini-launch for a DADDS membership program in January.
Membership will be open to fathers and families and will provide access to all DADDS- sponsored events, including the second annual Daddy-Daughter Dance scheduled for Feb. 10, 2013.
Gala sponsorship opportunities and tickets are available online at tickets.4DADDS.org.
Presale tickets for the holiday gala are $25 for singles and $35 for couples.
"We appreciate the community's support for this event and look forward to celebrating our parents in style," Hargrove said.