February 15, 2018. By JD Wolfsberg:
The Night to Shine is a banquet-style event put on by the Tim Tebow Foundation to celebrate those with special needs. On February 9th, 537 churches around the world participated in the event by putting on a dance for individuals with mental and developmental disabilities, ages 14 and older. I chose to volunteer at the Night to Shine held at the Grace Church in Avon.
The honored guests were welcomed by applause as they walked into the banquet hall on a red carpet. From there, it was up to the volunteers to show them a fun evening. Each guest is paired with a volunteer of the same gender to accompany them throughout the evening. I was paired with a young man named Drew. After the pairing, Drew and I went through different activities that were available. These included a ride in a stretch limo, shoe shining, karaoke, build-a-bear, and a photo booth. In addition to these great activities, there was a DJ playing classic hits and the dance floor was full all night.
These great activities certainly kept us busy, however Drew and I had the best time connecting over common interests including traveling and history. Once we started discussing Disney World, I quickly realized that my guest was quite the Disney expert, and knew more about the theme park’s upcoming plans than anyone else I know. This, along with his extensive knowledge of the Revolutionary War, left me having learned plenty from our conversations by the end of the evening.
Although my friends and I were just volunteers, it’s safe to say that of all the attendees we got the most out of the evening. The guests were all amazing and it was a rewarding evening to say the least. Once the guests opened up and became comfortable, the night flew by with great conversation and dancing. When the night came to a close and we said our goodbyes, I knew that I would be attending again next year. This event was a refreshing reminder that with all of the requests for charitable donations we all receive throughout the year, sometimes it is the donation of our time that has the greatest impact on the lives of others.
As I mentioned previously, A Night to Shine is held at over 500 locations across the country. Click Here to find a location near you and to learn more about the Tim Tebow Foundation.