A luxurious limo ride brought the couples to the Coleman where Miami Police Officers greeted them in full Class A dress uniform for a grand red carpet entrance fitting any princess.

MIAMI – Pretty little princesses in tiaras, floral corsages, sparkling ballgowns and dazzling dresses were accompanied by handsome escorts at the first 'Daddy and Princess Autumn Ball.' The Miami Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 121's event was a huge success as was evident on the adoring and beaming faces of the 72 little girls attending the dance last Friday at the Coleman Theatre Ballroom in Miami.

The special evening was the idea of FOP member and Miami Police Officer Andrew Hanson and the FOP membership jumped at the idea. The girls ranging from a few years old to pre-teen were escorted by fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, big brothers or a special man in their lives dressed in their best, wearing everything from cowboy boots to tuxes and boutonnieres.

“The guys that were there – we had a blast,” Hanson said. “A couple of the officers had their daughters there, and it was a good connection for them. We don't get that kind of connection very much and for us to offer that for those guys it was so great. The girls were having a blast, and even some of the dads were having a good time.”

A luxurious limo ride brought the couples to the Coleman where Miami Police Officers greeted them in full Class A dress uniform for a grand red carpet entrance fitting any princess.

Up the beautiful chandeliered staircase, the Daddy's and Princesses were treated to photo opportunities, a delicious dinner, fun crafts, and dancing the night away, including a dance-off contest with the winners receiving fresh cut red roses.

A special song and dance was included to honor all veterans, EMS personnel, and first responders.

The event, which cost $40 a couple, was a fundraiser for the Miami Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 121.

“We had the perfect number,” Hanson said after the event. “We raised a little money, I mean, we didn't get rich off of it, but what it did for the community and those girls was worth more than whatever we raised.”

Hanson said because of the overwhelmingly positive response from this year's event, the FOP intends to make the father/daughter ball an annual occurrence possibly.

“We've had people already message today saying, 'We hope this happens again, and we're looking forward to going next year,' so we're looking forward to this again next year,” he said. “We're going to have to limit it to 75 people next year, and that's going to be hard.”

Hanson said one reason the event was such a huge hit was the support and help received from community sponsors and local businesses including; Osborn Drugs, Dr. Chris Robinson's Miami Dental Care, Tyler Linn Agency, Security Bank and Trust, Jim Rexwinkle State Farm, Neece Concrete Construction, Welch State Bank, East Central Pawn, Allen Sign, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe and Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma, Miami Wal-Mart, J. Lynne Design, Charlie's Chicken, Sunkissed Floral and Greenhouse, Angel Wings and Ann's Collection, Joplin Limousine, Nate Long State Farm and Scott Garber.

Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at mstotts@miaminewsrecord.com or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1.