Valdosta Daily Times

March 8, 2014

Hundreds attend annual Mother-Son Luau

Desiree Murphy
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The annual Mother-Son Luau kicked off Friday night at Park Avenue United Methodist Church with its first session lasting from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Two more sessions will take place tonight, one from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a second session starting at 7:30 p.m. and ending at 9:30 p.m.

Tiki torches lined the path into the entrance of the luau. Inside, a variety of balloon sea creatures hung from the ceilings. Palm trees with lights lined the walls and a large volcano was available as backdrop for photos. Leis and glow-sticks were given to guests and a room full of finger foods was available. A tiki-themed DJ booth with colorful lights played a variety of dance hits for mothers and sons to dance the night away.

One young son, Dylan, and his mother, Tanja Rogers, were getting into the groove of things as 3-year-old Dylan never stopped dancing.

“Last year was our first time coming,” said Rogers. “He’s been waiting for it again since last year. He just loves to dance.”

Another set of attendees was Donna Hall, and her sons, Hunter, 15, and Hayden, 8. Hall started her tradition with Hunter when he was younger, and now attends with Hayden as well.

“I wanted a way to spend time with my boys,” says Hall. “I have a daughter who always goes to the Father-Daughter Dance with her dad, so I thought this would be special for my boys.”

For more than 10 years, the Mother-Son Luau has been a fixture in the community, not only as an opportunity for mothers and sons to enjoy some quality time together, but also to help locals in need. All proceeds from ticket sales stay local and help fund numerous feed-the-needy programs throughout Valdosta.

Roughly 300 to 350 people attended Friday night’s session. Tonight’s numbers are expected to exceed Friday’s numbers. Jamie Bone, director of Park Avenue lay ministries and a coordinator behind the Mother-Son Luau, expects 400 people to attend the first session and expects close to 500 for the second session.

“This is a great opportunity for mothers and sons to get together and for sons to learn how to treat a lady,” said Bone.