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Teacher Takes Two Students to Daddy-Daughter Dance After Their Dad's Death

Steve Culbert is a fourth-grade teacher at Gates Elementary in Michigan who planned on taking both of his daughters to their school’s daddy-daughter dance. He then found out that the father of two of his former students, Avery Reece and her sister, Alivia, was hospitalized. So, he decided to add two more daughters to his group.

Culbert talked to his own daughters about inviting the Reece girls to go with them and they were on board with the plan. The Reece family was delighted with the plan, too. Unfortunately, that same day Luke was taken off life support and he died about two weeks before the dance. Culbert said, “I just don't want any of my students to feel like they're alone. That's what drives me, that's what motivates me.”

As word spread through the community, many offered to help make the day extra special for the girls. A limo company offered a discounted rate and a hair salon donated time to do the girls’ hair and nails. Parents at the school chipped in to buy the Reece girls dresses for the dance and another parent bought all four girls corsages.

Culbert and his daughters picked up Alivia and Avery in their glamorous limo. The girls were in shock. Avery, the older of the two, saw the limo and her jaw fell on the ground. She said, “That's what we're taking?”

The last touch was four heart-shaped balloons that Culbert bought for the big day. They attached small tags to the balloon strings with #BeLikeLuke written on them. Culbert wanted to honor Luke Reece on that special day. Before getting out of the limo, Culbert spoke to the girls. He said, “I'm not trying to be your dad, I’m just trying to be here with you.” They got out of the limo and let the heart-shaped balloons fly. Then they walked into the school and danced the night away.

Possible Preaching Angles:

Father’s Day; Fatherhood of God – Fathers have the awesome privilege of modeling the Heavenly Father’s love and care, first to their own families and then to others whose earthly father is absent.


Caitlin O'Kane, “Teacher takes two students to daddy-daughter dance after their dad's death,” CBSNews.com (10-31-18)

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