Although the theme was “A Night in Paris,” Foundation Academy’s annual Daddy-Daughter Dance’s guest list included one VIP from Hawaii.
Third-grader Grace O’Hey and her younger sister, Chloe, a kindergartner, were escorted to the dance, held Friday, April 13, at Tanner Hall in Winter Garden, by a special guest — their uncle, John O’Hey, who flew in from Hawaii for the occasion.
It was an especially memorable night for two students. The girls were 4 years old and 4 months old when their father, Tim O’Hey, died of cancer on Christmas Eve in 2012.
“We’ve been having our Daddy-Daughter dance for several years now,” Principal Angel Whitehead said. “Every year, the uncle … flies in from Hawaii to take the girls to the dance. It’s a beautiful story. Whenever I see the girls, it breaks my heart.”
John O’Hey is retired from the military but is working in Hawaii in a consulting role. He has flown to Orlando for the last three years to escort his nieces.
It is a special time for the girls, too.
“It means everything to them,” said their mother, Kelly O’Hey. “It’s hard when they have a Father-Daughter Dance when your parent’s not there, so it really means a lot to them.”
John O’Hey said he wouldn’t miss the annual school event. He also knows Grace and Chloe probably wouldn’t attend if they didn’t have his support.
“I don’t get to see them all that often, so I get quality time by myself with them,” he said. “It’s as good for me as it is for them; even better.”
Whitehead said 250 people registered for the dance, which included snack tables, an array of games and a disc jockey playing upbeat music.