Fathers, daughters bond at church’s horse ride

MONROE — Joe Fitzgerald wanted to surprise his two daughters for Father’s Day. He told them they were going to fly kites.

Instead, he took them horse riding at the Courage Reins Farm in Carnation.

“They both love horses. It kind of made my day to surprise them,” said Fitzgerald, 45. “It was a gift to me to see how happy they were.”

When they reached their destination, 10-year-old Kate and 6-year-old AeraBella were in shock.

“What I enjoyed was being there with my dad, and to be able to see all the horses with him,” Kate said.

They were part of a group of 60 fathers and their daughters from the Cascade Church in Monroe who came to ride horses, make s’mores and dabble at art.

The main goal of the event was to give fathers a special opportunity to spend time with their daughters.

Only fathers and daughters were allowed to attend.

The church schedules family events through the year. This was the first time the church organized an event catering only to fathers and their daughters, Cascade Church youth pastor Dan Gerke said.

The church this year also organized a Mother’s Day event aimed only for mothers and their sons.

All participants were members of the church. The daughters ranged in age from 2 to 21, Gerke said.

“Everybody had a great time,” he said.

Duvall-resident Rick Gray attended with his 8-year-old daughter, Megan.

“It was nice to be one-on-one only,” said Gray, a father of three. “It was a great event. I look forward to the next.”

Ken Brossard, of Lake Stevens, said he enjoyed the day with his daughters, Charlise, 7, and Ashlyn, 4.

The best thing was seeing his youngest daughter conquer her fear of riding a horse for the first time.

The event was a good way for fathers to spend quality time, he said.

“Sometimes parents get busy and cannot slow down and treasure the time with their kids,” he said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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