February 22, 2018

Shining brightly

I had the honor of being on the planning committee for (our Local) Tim Tebow's Night To Shine; A prom held for people with special needs ages 14 and up.
When my friend Lori asked me to come aboard, (as fundraising chair) I said yes immediately.....and then I wondered if I could ACTUALLY raise funds. The Coach assured me that he'd help and we'd do just fine. And we did....mostly Coach reaching out to all the business friends that we've supported in the past.

We started planning in October and the event took place on Friday, February 9th.
We hosted over 200 guests and had over 500 volunteers for this special night.
 All of our guests were offered hair/makeup, dresses, shoes, accessories to make them feel as awesome as they are. We had 'buddies' for each guest, so that the caretakers/parents of these lovely peeps could have a night of their own. The parents/caretakers were offered an evening in the Respite room; dinner, music, manicures, massages, games and were given raffle tickets for gift cards.
Our esteemed guests were paired up with their buddies, given a corsage and sent around the church parking lot in a limousine OR a horse and buggy and dropped off at the red carpet to make their big entrance.....with paparazzi cheering them on (unless they were sensitive to noise) and under the swords of the Honor guard.
They were all greeted as the rock stars that they are!
Coming into this, I didn't really know what to expect, but I did assume it would be mostly 'young' guests. Boy, was I wrong. There were so many who were in their 40's-even 60's.
So many big smiles; it was amazing. I borrowed all of these photos because I was actually on the other end....I was there putting them IN the limo's or the horse and carriage. What a great thrill it was for me to see all of the happy, excited faces as they started the evening.
Once everyone had walked the red carpet, they had dinner and then the party really started. We had a great DJ playing great dance music.

I'm not quite sure who had more fun; the guests or the volunteers. SO much joy in one room. (although, my feet were crying out by the end of the night, and I wasn't even dancing!)
I recall at one point looking out into the dance floor and I couldn't tell who was a 'guest' and who was a 'buddy'.....the joy was contagious.
IT was truly an amazing evening celebrating ALL of God's children. Our committee has already had a post-prom meeting and we've made notes about what we'll do differently next year. This is only the second year in our area, so it's a learning process.

Just looking at these photos again makes my heart swell with love; it was truly a Night To Shine for so many and I can't wait to do it again.