Gumtree TWIGS coordinated the 16th annual Father/Daughters Gumtree Ball on Saturday, June 23, 2018, at the BancorpSouth Arena. Proceeds from this sold-out event were raised to benefit Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Army Reserve Lt. Colonel Drew Robertson and daughter Audrey attended the ball for the first time. “We just love hanging out together, and this is such a great cause,” said Robertson. “Any time we can hang out together and eat some good food, we love to do that. And it’s just a lot of fun for daddies and daughters to have some time together. ” Matt Taylor brought his daughter Finley and twin daughters Harper and Lucy to the event. This was Taylor’s third time coming with Finley and first time with all three girls in tow. “I hope they know how much I care for them, and see how special I think they are, and how it’s important to do things for others too,” said Taylor. For the third year, Jake Johns brought Kylan and Karter to this grand occasion. “This is a time for us to be together. I just want them to know they are special to me, and I know before long they’ll be too big for all this,” said Johns. Adam Smilanich attended the ball with Amelia for the fifth time. For Smilanich, this time together is used to show his daughter that to him she is a princess. “It teaches her how she should be treated when she’s older.” John McAlister hopes that time together at this event leaves a lasting impression on his daughter Memory. “I hope she learns that doing stuff with family is important, and sometimes you do something special just for them,” said McAlister. This was the first year Areginal Allen and Nevaeh Preston attended the ball. “I just want her to have a very good time and just have fun together,” Allen said smiling down at Preston. Jordan Riley and daughter Taylor have been enjoying this experience for nine years. “It is a special night for me, because it’s just me and her. We get to spend some quality time together.” Riley also uses this time to instill lessons for the future. “I think this shows her how she should be treated, how a good man treats his daughters, how they treat a lady. And she’s very much a lady. She looks the part, she acts the part. She very much is a lady to me.” Each daughter shared their favorite aspect of attending the ball. Audrey Robertson was excited about bidding on the toys in the silent auction. Finley Taylor’s face lit up when talking about seeing the princesses. Kylan Johns loved dressing up and feeling pretty. Amelia Smilanich beamed when declaring being with her daddy was the highlight of her night. Memory enjoyed taking photos with the different characters at the ball. Nevaeh Preston shyly expressed she loved getting to write her name, and Taylor Riley proudly said her favorite part was dancing with her dad. For all those involved, it was a night to remember.