Gala honors young South Florida women

DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida organization is stepping up for young women by stepping onto the dance floor.

Fathers MIA is organizing a gala, “As We Honor Her,” to honor 25 South Florida high school students nominated by community leaders.

The group is aiming to give these young women, who have grown up without dads, new father figures. “I feel like having a father in your life is everything, especially being a girl,” said honoree Franchesska Auguste.

The gala is set to be hosted at the Signature Grand in Davie, Saturday, according to their Facebook page, at 6:30 p.m.

“I’m excited because it’s close to home, and I feel better,” said Auguste. “I feel confident to know that someone is taking their time to honor me, cherish me, for having this issue.”

Fathers MIA is also hoping to help those missing-in-action fathers to become motivated, involved and active as father figures in their children’s lives.

The organization hosted a walk in September of 2016, which called for peace following the shooting deaths of two South Florida children, 8-year-old Jada Page and 15-year-old Isaiah Solomon.

“If we don’t step in early with our youth today, then they go absent,” said Miramar Police Chief Dexter M. Williams.

Volunteer police officers are expected to escort the honorees to the gala. The event is going to have dancing and special guest speakers, all in celebration of a great cause.

“We just want to make sure that we honor them, making them feel good, making them feel wanted, making them understand that there is an organization that loves them and desires to make sure that there is a father figure in their life,” said a Fathers MIA participant Robert Jackson.

Volunteer police officers are expected to escort the honorees to the gala. The event is going to have dancing and special guest speakers, all in celebration of a great cause.

“It’s not about the money that you give, it’s not about the material things,” said another participant, Geral Hawkins. “It’s about the memory that you place in your daughter’s life.”

“It’s something that’s gonna be once in a lifetime for them,” said an honoree’s mother, Katherine Valentin.

Fathers MIA will also award two senior students with college scholarships.

If you would like to learn more about the organization or how you can help, visit www.fathersmia.org.

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