Night to Shine event brings joy for guests with special needs

It was a ‘night to shine’ for thousands of men and women with special needs.

Every year, the Tim Tebow foundation sponsors a prom at more than 650 locations nationwide, including here in Southwest Florida.

Haley Marra with the Best Buddies Program and guest Christian Ciocca have a special handshake, and now a special memory together.

“I’m here with my buddy. We’re gonna dance,” Christian said. “I like to sing and dance to high school musical.”

Dancing and singing were just some of the fun to be had at this special prom for people with special needs.

“It’s tough for me cuz I’m Down syndrome with higher functioning,” Christian added. “I must say, I love this.”

Guests were welcomed by limo and red carpet into the Sanibel Community Church. One of more than 650 communities hosting ‘Night to Shine’.

James Riley, Night to Shine Volunteer said, “Just seeing people light up, come to life… It’s really special to get swept up in that emotion and know that we’re making this truly magical for them.”

The event is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and made possible by volunteers.

James ran a karaoke room and help the guests find that perfect song.

Toward the end of the night, everybody gets a crown, a little gift from Tim Tebow, the Foundation and everyone involved with Night to Shine. All to celebrate the community’s shining stars.

More than 100-thousand people with special needs were crowned across the country during Friday’s ‘Night to Shine’.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
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