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Quality time was the focus at the Bettendorf Life Fitness Center on Sunday afternoon, as more than 150 girls spent the afternoon with their dads.

The Friends of Bettendorf Parks Foundation organized the event, the Father/Daughter Day of Fun, which is the first of its kind for the organization. It patterns the Mother/Son Night of Fun, which is in its third year and was held Sunday evening.

More than 150 girls, ages 5-12, attended the sold-out event.

“We have over 20 events, including obstacle courses, slides, mini golf, and a gaga pit,” said organizer Julie Martin, with Friends of Bettendorf Parks Foundation. Businesses from throughout Bettendorf sponsored the events.

“All of the cell phones are put away, and it’s time for parents to bond with their children in an active way,” said Martin smiling as she watched dads and their girls jump, throw balls, and giggle.

Nate Wilson of Bettendorf looked on as his daughter, Kailee, age 10, participated in a fierce cup stacking competition against a friend.

“We came with neighbors and friends. My wife came with my son last year, and we found out they had this for fathers and daughters and signed up for it,” he said.

“I like the dodgeball and the laser tag,”, said Skylar.

Between activities, dads and daughters enjoyed pizza, cookies, and drinks.

Justin Gilroy and his 5-year-old daughter, Grace, sipped a smoothie while walking between activities.

“It’s awesome to spend time with just my daughter. I have four kids at home. This is a chance to focus on our one-on-one relationship,” said the Bettendorf dad.

Ron Stout played putt-putt golf with his 9-year-old daughter, Skylar, and appreciated the non-competitive nature of the event.

“It’s great to just have fun. It’s not about winning, but just attempting to do something. It’s fun seeing her work on coordination, and it’s just time to be together,” said Stout.

The Friends of Bettendorf Parks Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer organization that’s purpose is to organize, sponsor, and maintain a program for improving the public parks and recreation facilities owned and operated by the City of Bettendorf. For more information about events, visit

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