Atlanta, Ga – On Father’s Day, the most many men expect to receive is a card, a tie and a “Happy Father’s Day” phone call. Iconic Atlanta radio DJ Ryan Cameron wants to change that expectation. Every year, Cameron and the Ryan Cameron Foundation host a father-daughter dance on Father’s Day to give dads a chance to truly shine.
“For the dads, it’s part of a ritual where Mother’s Day we spend millions and millions of dollars on cards, flowers, gifts, dinners and dad’s day is just a phone call like ‘Hey, Happy Father’s Day. ‘Preciate it! Now put mama on the phone,’” said Cameron. “So for that dad it’s like get him off the couch, get him out to do something and celebrate them as opposed to dropping a card and keeping it moving.”
The Atlanta event will celebrate its ten-year anniversary on Sunday and a lot has happened in that decade. Cameron has a bevy of stories about the dance and, for him, it has been nice to see the progression of the event and its attendees. “I’ve watched people go from being teenagers to adults and the dance has always been a part of it,” he said. “I’ve had women come up to me crying because the last event they had with their dad was that dance.”
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The impact of the dance was so strong for one father, he made a special request of his family: “One woman that went on to become a volunteer for the organization, actually at [her father’s] homegoing service was buried in the same tuxedo he wore to the event, by his request,” said Cameron.
According to Cameron, the dance started out as something small in “a little house and about ten dads and we’re all in there crying just dancing with our daughters” and he wanted to turn it into something big. The foundation spares no expense—the first public dance was held at the elegant Ritz-Carlton Hotel; this year’s location is the Georgia Aquarium. The V-103 host describes it as a “father-daughter prom.”
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At the center of it all, Cameron’s daughters remain a source of inspiration for the event, always attending the dance with their dad. He wants to show them how they should be treated and what they should expect from a future partner so a young man won’t be able to deceive them, a common concern of many fathers.
“Anything I try to do, any perk that I get, I put my daughters in there,” said Cameron. “No matter what it is, whatever it is, because I want them to be able to say that they’re not swayed by a quick tongue and a cool rap and that’s basically it and it’s working.”
The dance will take place on Father’s Day, June 17, at the Georgia Aquarium. For more information, visit the foundation’s website at ryancameron.org