Magical memories were made this past Saturday when more than 70 mothers and their sons gathered at Lola’s Old Hickory House at a dance created just for them. The Family Place of Transylvania County hosted their second annual Mother and Son Dance as a fundraiser to support their programs. “Father and daughter dances have been around for a long time here, but I heard from many moms of boys who wanted their very own dance,” Rachel Vandergrift shared. Vandergrift, a Family Place board member, saw this need as a chance to raise some funds for the organization. DJ Dogg, Marcus Lester, was the natural partner for the event. Lester is an avid supporter of The Family Place, and was excited to bring families together through music. The dance floor was swinging all night as families danced, played party games, and enjoyed one another’s company. “I love seeing the moms dancing with their sons and having a great time. To be able to incorporate the mission of The Family Place into our fundraiser is a wonderful way to convey who we are,” said Erin Drew, Executive Director of The Family Place. Their mission of strengthening families through support, education, and community building really came to life as families and friends warmly greeted one another at the dance. The event was made possible by sponsors: Lola’s Old Hickory House, Class Sound and Entertainment, O.P. Taylor’s, BluAxis Realty, Brevard Health and Racquet Club, and Trent & Associates.

During the evening, several parents shared how The Family Place benefits them. Rhea Avera, mother of three, described being new to town and being “welcomed and heard” as soon as she walked through the door. Her family quickly became regular attendees participating in Parent Chat, the Learning Garden, Stay & Play and most recently, the Circle of Security class. She also shared when an illness impacted her family how the people she met and connected with through The Family Place rallied around her, “The Family Place Family came together and took care of us. They watched our kids. They brought us food, and they nurtured us back to health.”

Michelle Taylor, mother of four, shared about the different programs her family has participated in, but stressed, “It is so much more than the programs. It is the connections you make with other families that are in the same stage of life. The Family Place is where you can connect with another mom who may be going through the same things you have (gone through). Or you can learn from another’s experience.”

The Family Place and their collaborations: Community Playgroups, Natural Play Project, and CONNECT are all affected by the dissolvement of United Way of Transylvania County. Fundraisers, such as the Mother and Son Dance are one way the agency is working to meet the shortfall. The Family Place also receives several private donations, which they greatly appreciate. “We will graciously accept donations of all sizes directly to The Family Place. Community members have really stepped up and showed their support,” said Drew. Last year The Family Place Touched the lives of 407 children and 377 adults, providing 8,600 units of service.