Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Crossing: 2018 Night to Shine

king's crowns
king's boutonnieres 

Have you ever heard of Night to Shine?  It's an amazing event put on by the Tim Tebow Foundation (yes, the one of NFL fame!) .  During the annual event, people with special needs are treated like royalty.  The church I belong to was one of many to transform the place into a prom-like experience.  

one of the honored guests with Miss Quincy and Miss Quincy Teen

On February 9th, 2018, 537 churches nationwide and in 16 countries celebrated 90,000 kings and queens during Night to Shine.  

Our church alone had almost 300 guests and approximately 700 volunteers.  People from our church made up a big portion of the volunteers but, this year, we had tremendous help from the university's football team, softball team, and volleyball team.  We also had help from Kohl's, a boy scout troop, and a nearby school.  It was more amazing than the Loch Ness Monster taking on a modelling career with Bigfoot as the manager.  (Yep, even better than that!)

Becky worked a Coat Check station with me.

Two years ago I was a buddy to one of the special guests.  Last year I worked a Coat Check station, and did the same this year.  I was set up in one of the lobbies, giving me opportunity to watch what was going down.

People with special needs, ages 14 and up, were invited to attend and be treated like royalty.  

Once guests arrived, they were paired up with a Buddy who would be their escort for the night.  Next they were presented with crowns and boutonnieres for the kings, and tiaras and corsages for the queens.  Once that took place, they walked down a red carpet for a photo shoot and autographs.  It came complete with screaming "paparazzi" and fans.

posing with Anya, another gal pal I talked into volunteering for coat check

The dance floor rarely had empty space.  Most of the time, it was packed elbows to armholes.

Once they walked down the red carpet, it was time for the festivities.  The church auditorium and lobby was cleared out for a dance floor with DJ, shoe shine, hair and makeup station, photo booth, basketball hoop, miniature golf, and sit-down supper.  There was also a limo ride service and a station set up for wheelchairs to get some bling.

Supper was grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, rice, dinner rolls, and brownies. The end of the night concluded with the release of over 1000 balloons.

blinged out wheelchair

nail station

  It takes a small community to work before, during and after Night to Shine.  But it is absolutely well worth it.  The guests are treated like royalty and are shown they that are worth celebrating.  The volunteers may leave exhausted but they go away with wonderful memories and can't wait to do it all over again next year.


mail4rosey said...

I love the blinged out wheel chair! This looks like such a great event and I LOVE that so many people were involved to make it happen!

Kari Wagner Hoban said...

OMG what a wonderful event!! I love this so much.

Nancy said...

What a delightful post. I am sure it was a wonderful experience for the guests as well as the volunteers.

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Renee said...

Every year you post about this and my heart just fills up. I have enlisted a friend to see if we can get the churches here interested in this amazing program.

An Apel a Day said...

I love this post. It looks like a great night! Lots of fun shiny things.

Julie Waldron said...

This looks like a wonderful event & a lot of fun.