Call it a bit of a pint-sized prom on a fairy-tale night for dads and daughters. Or a time for young girls and their uncles, older brothers, or any number of male role models.

Disc jockey Alan Trisler of Audio Magic Entertainment will provide music Jan. 13 at Foundation For Youth’s 12th Annual Princess Ball, as he has done for years.

Some of the girls view their time at the dance as bigger than life, Trisler has noticed.

“You see the light in a father or a grandfather’s eyes,” Trisler said. “And you see the sparkle in the princess’ eyes. That’s really cool.”

Former Columbus resident Patti Owens Bohnsack launched the gathering for girls ages 3 through teen years to help make them feel special and boost self-esteem. Proceeds go for scholarships to Girls On the Run, an local athletic-oriented program which works to inspire self-confidence in young girls.

Development of the program speaks for its success. Thirty girls and escorts attended the inaugural gathering. Last year, a record of more than 800 people attended.

For comfort and safety, registrations for this year are being cut off at 725 people, said event coordinator Laura Moses, health and fitness director at Foundation For Youth.

Sometimes, moms or dads have bought event tickets as Christmas stocking-stuffers for young girls who know the night is all about them as the belle of the ball — and what it’s like for a significant adult male in their life to treat them like a refined lady. Moms, aunts or others often take the girls shopping for just the right outfit, with styles ranging from casual to dressy.

“It’s special one-on-one time for a young girl and a male role model,” Moses said.

Crafts, snacks and dancing — to familiar Disney tunes or contemporary love songs — makes the night full. Each couple gets introduced as they make their entrance on a red carpet. Moms and other supporters are encouraged to gather at 5 p.m. for photos of those arrivals.

“We know that if girls feel good about themselves, they’ll set a higher standard of how they will allow others to treat them,” Moses said. “And if their confidence is lower and they haven’t had anyone treat them really well, or know firsthand what that feels like, then sometimes all they end up wanting is attention, and they’ll take whatever (treatment) they can get. The reality is that all of this starts someplace.”

Having a ball

What: Foundation For Youth’s 12th Annual Princess Ball 2018, a dance and fun event for dads and daughters or little girls and any male role models, from uncles to older brothers. Snacks, crafts, photos and more.

When: 4:30 (doors open) to 8 p.m. Jan. 13.

Where: Foundation For Youth, 405 Hope Ave. in Columbus.

Cost: $25 per couple, and $15 each for additional princess. Adult males may escort more than one female.

Tickets and registration: Attendance will be limited to the first 725 people registering.

Information: 812-348-4558.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.