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Role: Night To Shine Security Team (2nd Year)
Dan was positioned at the beginning of the red carpet. He stood in awe as guest after guest were paired with a buddy for the evening. He found himself overwhelmed as he experienced each honored guest get crowned by their buddy before linking arms and walking down the red carpet. Dan shares that one guest, Franny stepped up to the red carpet and waited while her buddy made their way to her side. In that moment of waiting Franny looked back at Dan pointed and proclaimed, “I’ll take that one!” Of course Dan was honored to escort such a beautiful guest down the red carpet. Towards the end of the night Franny made her way back to Dan just to thank him for walking with her. Dan shares that it was truly all his honor!
Role: Night To Shine Parking & Traffic (3rd Year)
Every year I’ve been doing something as simple as holding the doors open while the guests head to the Party Buses or Limos. The best part of the job is when that limo or bus gets back, those doors open, and the guests pour out of the bus or limo just beaming and grinning ear to ear. I try to give each of them a high five as they come back and ask them how the ride was and they always say, “Awesome” or “So cool!”
The week after the 2019 Night to Shine event my family and I were out to eat when one of the guests came into the restaurant. The guest was still wearing their crown from several days before. This sight made my night.
We take so much granted in this life and that moment was the first time I realized just how big a deal Night to Shine is to the guests. I made the decision right then and there that nothing was going to keep me from volunteering every year. Even if it’s just holding open a door and giving a guest a warm smile or a high five, there is no small role in giving these folks a night they won’t quickly forget.
Role: Night To Shine Buddy (1st Year)
2019 was Jim’s first year as a volunteer for Night To Shine. Jim shares, “I was actually pretty nervous about the night and how it would be.” Within moments of meeting his honored guest, Jim believes his fears and nerves were quickly replaced with joy and excitement. Both Jim and his honored guest had a fantastic night and can’t wait until next year!
“It was one of the best most fulfilling nights of my life!”- Jim
Role: Night To Shine Buddy (2nd Year)
“It took a lot of convincing her to go up there. I was so proud of her.’
Buddies are not babysitters but there to encourage! They have the unique privilege of celebrating their individual guest throughout the night.
Role: Night To Shine Buddy (3rd Year)
Things happen to us all that make us step back and remember how grateful we are for what we have. Even if what we have is not exactly what we planned for or wished for.
Tonight I met Topher, and I knew he was a special person that could do more than just make me laugh. As everyone else danced the night away, Topher sat in the lobby and played the piano for 2.5 hrs. I walked out to lobby to see him sitting there playing, and I introduced myself again. He continued to play the piano and sing (both done very well). I listened and sat down on the piano bench with him, tears start to stream down my face. In those seconds I learned Topher-an average 19 year old-with some special things about him, had a bigger talent than I knew. Despite how others view him, he has an extraordinary talent that God gave him.
Topher, if I never see you again just know that you have changed my view on God’s plans for me and for anyone I see again. So thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Role: Night To Shine Photographer
Last month at our Night to Shine Boutique, the last family we served had three kiddos with disabilities. The most profoundly disabled was a young man who selected his clothes very quickly and waited for his sisters to find the perfect dresses.
I spent quite a bit of time with this beautiful soul. We bonded over a mutual appreciation of football, and passed those minutes pointing out colors and relating them to NFL teams.
On Friday night, that young man walked up to me and gave me a big hug. He had a gigantic smile on his face, and pointed out the fact that we were both wearing purple like the Minnesota Vikings. My heart has been full of that moment since.
Never underestimate the connections you make with people. Each interaction, no matter how seemingly simple, is an opportunity to show love and edify that person. Don’t forsake those opportunities.