David Douglas’ Father-Daughter Banquet unites District

Find out why this event has – for decades – been much more than just a social event, for outer East Portland students and their families …

Music by the David Douglas String Quartet welcomes guests to the annual Father-Daughter Banquet.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Even though it was well after school hours, the David Douglas High School North Cafeteria was abuzz with activity throughout the evening on February 24, as the 2010 Father-Daughter Banquet got underway at 6:00 p.m.

Taking time from making sure all of the 252 guests were well-fed and entertained, event coordinator Heather Robinson stopped to talk with us about the event.

Heather Robinson, Chair of the 2010 David Douglas Father/Daughter Banquet, pauses for a moment with “Gina the Mime” (Wollrabe), a/k/a ChaCha the Clown.

“Welcome to our 54th edition of the Father-Daughter Banquet,” greeted Robinson. “Some people think this event is only for those involved with the high school. But, actually, it encompasses the entire David Douglas School District.”

This special night, featuring dining and entertainment, is produced each year by the District’s “Dad’s Club” – and has been, since even before the school district boundaries were firmly established. “The ‘Dad’s Club’ was started by school administrators within the School District. But, it’s been carried on by parents, alone, over the years. Even though we do have strong ties with the high school, we also draw from all of the schools in the District, as well.”

David Douglas High School Principal John Bier is served a plate of tasty food by student volunteers.

Gilbert Park Elementary School students Gwen and Maya Weeks, here with their dad, Ben Carlascio, say they’re having a great time at the event. “I got an invitation to the banquet, and I’m glad we decided to come,” Carlascio says.

The David Douglas Dad’s Club, Robinson noted, is comprised of parents, grandparents, students, and employees who volunteer their time to support activities within the School District.

“Our primary focus is to give money to students, teachers, and coaches who have specific school-related needs,” said Robinson. She added that in addition to the banquet, they also raise money with their July 4th fireworks stand on SE 122nd Avenue and Division Street, in front of Pizza Baron – as well as by recycling Christmas trees, and by providing barbecues for car shows and other special events.

The David Douglas Flag Team performs a dance number at this year’s banquet.

Fun is job number one
While the Dad’s Club has a serious purpose, the goal of the banquet is for attendees to have fun, Robinson explained. “We have all kinds of activities taking place to keep our guests entertained and having a good time – both on stage and off. The main reason we do this is to help build a sense of community. Even though the David Douglas District is huge, in many ways it’s like a close family. This event helps tie people together.”

Robinson was quick to point out that she doesn’t produce the event by herself. “We have 21 young people from the school volunteering, as well as members of the Dad’s Club. I especially thank the David Douglas High Activities Director, Kara Kauble. She really ‘lifts me up’, and I appreciate all she does both for the school and this event.”

The Father-Daughter Banquet was sold out again this year – and look at all the happy participants!

Members of the Dad’s Club are in the process of seeking more members willing to help out in the future, Robinson said. “We meet the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the South Building Faculty Lunchroom. If you don’t have time to volunteer, please try to support our endeavors, so we can continue to provide for our community’s kids!”

For more information, contact David Douglas High’s activity director, Kara Kauble, at
(503) 262-4409.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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