Annual Night to Shine dance unites local community


Sandy Dang

Night to Shine, a night out of a fairytale storybook, from tiaras and crowns on each guest’s head and to beautiful dresses and spiffy suits with the auditorium decorated with twinkling lights.

Sandy Dang, Public relations, reporter

More than 540 churches from around the world came together to host Night to Shine for approximately 90,000 honored guests through the support of 175,000 volunteers at NorthStar Church on Friday, February 9. Courtney Miller, the preschool and special needs director at NorthStar Church, stands in charge of preparation for the special evening of the Night to Shine. The Tim Tebow Foundation organization represents an unforgettable prom night experience for people with special needs from ages fourteen and older.

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Volunteers stand by the red carpet in anticipation of welcoming their guests. As guests arrived, cheers and whoops were loud and clear to welcome the guest inside to begin their night of fun.

“The significance of Night to Shine is being able to show love to the community of those with special needs around us. We want them to know they are loved, they are significant, and they are supported. We want to give them an unforgettable night and experience prom, something that many individuals with special needs do not get the opportunity to experience,” Miller said.

Miller organized over 250 volunteers and prepared the paperwork for over 115 guests with special needs along with their families. She contacted a variety of businesses in the community, worked out all the details of the night, and reached out to community members to assist her in decorating the church. The night’s outcome succeeded any previous expectations. Attendees and volunteers alike looked forward to all of the smiling faces and heartwarming stories from guests and their parents.

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The auditorium became decorated with blue lights with a centerpiece of two paintings including a quote of Philippians 2:15, making the atmosphere feel like a scene pulled straight from a fairytale book.

“Numerous hours are dedicated to preparing for Night to Shine. For NorthStar Church, we begin prepping early in November,” Miller said.

The church transformed into a night straight out of a fairytale. Volunteers decorated the auditorium with glittering lights and shiny blue balloons. The guests wore crowns and tiaras and dressed in their most fancy attires and given the royal treatment. The night included limo rides, photo shoots by “paparazzi,” walking on the red carpet, and hair and makeup stations. Along with the royal treatment, volunteers arranged different activities throughout the church grounds; including karaoke and gaming stations with board games and a quiet room for the guests need a breather from the eventful night of dancing and music.

“Night to Shine is always a blast. It’s so cool because the whole community comes together. I mean it’s the picture perfect community service and so to see everybody in here loving other people and and loving our special needs community. It’s phenomenal. It’s a blast,” high school pastor at NorthStar Church Casey Linch said.