Young Professionals hosting mother-son event Saturday

The members of the Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac will be flipping the script of their wildly popular daddy daughter dance this weekend, as the organization hosts its first ever “Mommy and Me” event Saturday.

The mother-son event will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. at Southwestern Michigan College’s Student Activity Center. Tickets for admission cost $5 per person, and can be purchased ahead of time at Bakeman Barbers, Fifth Third Bank or The Baker’s Rhapsody.

The SAC will be full of activities for mothers and their sons to enjoy during the afternoon, capped off by a presentation by trainers with Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary, who will be showing off alligators, tortoises and other reptiles in a live, interactive demonstration from 3:30 to 4:30.

The mother-son event was an idea spun off from the Young Professionals’ Daddy-Daughter Snowball, which has been held the past two years in conjunction with the Dowagiac Ice Time Festival. With the event exploding in popularity since its inception, several local mothers approached the organization to see if its members would be interested in doing something similar, only aimed at mothers and sons instead, said Rebecca Kellogg, one of the organizers of Saturday’s event.

The group has spent the last several months hashing out ideas for how to approach the event, eventually settling on the idea of “Mommy and Me: A Date With Your Superhero.” In contrast to the Snowball, the mother-son event will offer several interactive activities for parents and children, Kellogg said.

“I think the superhero theme is a really fun idea, and we’ll have reptiles and other things that young boys like,” she said.

In addition to the animal exhibition, the event will feature a dancing area and a crafts table, where children and parents can make superhero masks. Kellogg, owner of Dowagiac’s Blue Print Photography, will also be operating a photo booth throughout the afternoon.

“We’re encouraging kids and moms to dress as superheroes, so hopefully it will be a fun photo for them to take,” she said.

Children will have a chance to meet some real life heroes as well, as officers with the Dowagiac Police Department, firefighters with the Dowagiac Fire Department and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office’s Nellie the Bloodhound and her handler, Tiffany Graves, will all be at the venue, that afternoon Kellogg said.

Like the Snowball, all proceeds from the Mommy and Me event will go toward the Young Professionals’ annual Fourth of July fireworks show, Kellogg said. Also, families will be able to use their tickets to snag some deals at Zeke’s Restaurant and the Wood Fire, which will offer 10 percent off bills of dinners purchased after the event, Kellogg said.

Other businesses supporting the event include Harding’s and Family Fare, which are donating refreshments, as well as Print Squid, which is printing tickets and posters for the event, Kellogg said.

Saturday’s event should offer plenty of fun — and opportunities to make some lasting memories — for mothers and their sons, Kellogg said.

“This is something where you can have a special day with your son, to spend some quality one-on-one time together,” she said. “It’s going to be an awesome day.”

The Young Professionals encourages attendees to purchase their tickets ahead of time, though they will also be sold at the door Saturday.

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