Uncle steps up, takes his niece to school-sponsored ball
By Ivory Riner
Although third grader Alexis Jones' father isn't around, it didn't stop her from attending the recent Kings and Queens Ball held at Cornersville Elementary School.
There was a fear when planning that some students wouldn't have a father to take them to the Father-Daughter dance, admitted Torrie Mowell, Cornersville Action Team Vice President. That is when they changed the name so that no one was left out.
Alexis initially asked her grandfather to be her date to the ball, but he wasn't able to attend. Her next choice was her uncle, Neal Adams, who was more than happy to escort his niece.
Alexis's mother, Leslie Jones, bought her a new dress, and when it was time for the dance, Adams provided her a corsage that matched his shirt.
Jones said Neal has always treated Alexis like a sister. He helped keep her when Jones had to work or go to school, and even purchased clothes and things Alexis needed over the years when Jones wasn't able to.
After watching her struggle with raising a child, working two jobs and going to school, Jones' three siblings stepped in to help. Neal even told her that Alexis was all of their responsibility, not just hers.
"He is such a fantastic uncle and will make a great father one day ... after college of course," said Jones.
Adams had plans to attend a concert in Nashville, but canceled to spend the night at the ball with Alexis.
"I did all the line dances such as the Cha Cha Slide, Wobble and Hokie Pokie. Then I did all the slow dances. At one point I was outside playing tag and was always 'it' for some reason," Adams said.
When it came time to dance, Neal held Alexis close as they danced the night away.
"It's really amazing to have an uncle that can help out and be there for us when we need his help. Especially to fill in since my dad isn't around," Alexis said.
CES tries to do special events for the kids throughout the year. Mowell explained that anytime the action team can involve the whole family, it's a win for everyone.
"We had a gym full of families doing the Cupid Shuffle, fathers with their little girls standing on their feet as they danced to Butterfly Kisses and sons trying to dip their mothers. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen," Mowell said.
Neal treated Alexis to dinner at Wendy's after the dance. Employees asked her why she was so dressed up and she was proud to tell them.