Stepping it up, Starting in Zionsville
By JJ Kaplan
From the time our children take their first step, we scout friends for them. Knowing our children will become like those in which they seek company, we encourage them to pursue friends who demonstrate the highest values that we practice together as families. However, for adults, it can be a lonely path, especially for those who work many hours and who still want to be involved and dedicated to their busy families. It leaves very little time to bond and share friendships with others of encouragement, accountability and support, especially for men.
Why is it so easy for us to tell our kids to find good friends, but so difficult for dads to do the same? But what happens when men of this mindset come together, pray and commit to changing the lives of their families through the support of these same men? Lives change. Families change. And if we’re lucky, a new generation of families are created to withstand the challenges of busy and overprogrammed families.
Zionsville resident Mark Kowal felt a calling to create a venue to serve his children; their school, Traders Point Christian Academy; the community; and other men of similar beliefs in order to find examples of godly “fathers” in all walks of life. Kowal quickly discovered that he wasn’t alone in his vision of fellowship, and 12 men stepped forward to form the nucleus of an inspirational group called the TPCA Dad’s Club. Called together as fathers, they sought to create fun family time together — something so many families need. With this idea, a magical event formed, called The King’s Ball.
The King’s Ball is an evening dedicated to fathers celebrating their daughters. The idea
struck a chord, and 125 men joined them in the ball. These fathers wanted to demonstrate to their daughters their belief as to how their daughters should be honored, loved and assured that no matter what, their fathers will be there for them.
On Feb. 8, the Palomino Ballroom in Zionsville was the backdrop for the fifth anniversary celebration. Beginning with prayer and a delicious buffet, the evening progressed into games, photos, dancing and laughter, as the fathers and daughters celebrated to the pulsing beat and flashing disco lights. The room was filled with giggles, smiles and hugs, and 315 people walked away with memories for a lifetime.
According to Dave Jamerson, outreach pastor at Traders Point Christian Church, this event has even more significance in a world where women are sometimes suppressed and controlled. “As I looked around the room last Saturday night at the hundreds of fathers and grandfathers magically dancing with their daughters and granddaughters at The King’s Ball — all the while dancing with my own beautiful 9-year-old daughter Mia — I couldn’t help but think about the critical role that men have in loving and honoring the women in their lives and our communities. The picture that I saw was one of fathers celebrating their daughters and letting them know how incredibly precious they are, which is in stark contrast to what we unfortunately see in so many places around the world. I get exposed to so many places where the exact opposite is true — where you see the breakdown of fathers, families and communities.
“Just the day before the ball, I was sitting with two of our TPCC leaders who had returned from a short mission trip to Guatemala to work with IJM, or International Justice Mission — as they seek to bring justice to the thousands of young girls who are victimized in that country — many times by those of their own family.
“My simple thought was this, ‘What if men and fathers around the world celebrated their daughters for the extraordinary, beautiful, talented, amazing God-given blessings that they are?’ I’m positive the world would be a whole lot better for it. Men and fathers — love your ladies!”
So as we continue on the paths of our lives, it is important to make each step count toward improving our families, our community and our world. Let the journey begin.