LEC students take part in “Night to Shine” event for people with special needs


On Friday, February 10, 37 Lake Erie College students visited Painesville Baptist Church to volunteer as prom dates for “Night to Shine,” a special event offering a complete prom experience to people with special needs ages 14 and older.

Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, “Night to Shine” took place in more than 350 churches across 50 states and 10 countries. With limo rides, a red carpet experience, "paparazzi,” and stations for hair, makeup, shoe shines and flowers, the event was a special evening for all involved. Prom attendees and their buddies enjoyed a night of dancing, karaoke, photo booths and a crowning ceremony, culminating with a video message from Tim Tebow and a balloon drop.

This was the first year that “Night to Shine” was hosted in Lake County. Students from LEC got involved after alumnus Pastor Stoney Drain from Painesville Baptist Church contacted Dr. Katie Krammer, associate professor and coordinator of special education, looking for volunteers.

Though the invitation to participate was initially extended to education students in particular, word spread to several athletic teams to the point where students across campus had signed up to volunteer. “I wanted to be a part of their night,” said Becca Dietz, one of the students who participated. “Everyone deserves to have an amazing prom experience.”

In order to participate, the students had to take part in a training session on January 24 led by Pastor Stoney, Associate Pastor Eric Heatherly, and Lynnmarie Landwei-Phillips from the Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities. At this session, Dr. Krammer advised the students to have fun with the experience as that would make their buddies more likely to have a good time as well.

“This is truly an amazing event and I am so proud that so many of our students served as buddies,” said Dr. Krammer. “As a parent of two children with special needs I know how important this is to the kids and their families.”

The event at Painesville Baptist Church involved around 175 volunteers. LEC students involved included Farrah Benner, Marissa Brannon, Jackson Burdyshaw, Josie Chaddock, Luz Delgado, Kerry Dietrich, Rebecca Dietz, Emily Elkins, Samantha Ellis, Ashley Frasca, Jilliann Frey, Leah Green, Shebi Guy, Deanna Hill, Jordan Jernigan, Danielle Kovach, Ashley Mundey, Brooke Yopko, Hallie Zumack, Kynslie Murphy, Jessica Pepera, Andrew Bucur, Roberta Benedict, Jamie Riley, Hannah Pratt, Nathan Quinn, Jordan Hendrycks, James Chadwick, Micah Daigle, Javarian Smith, Mike Music, Desmon Turner, Tyler Berry, Tony Andrews, Sean McGlaughin and Walker Rashauld.

For more information on “Night to Shine,” visit https://www.timtebowfoundation.org/index.php/stand-with-night-to-shine/?gclid=CPGLoebH9NECFUa4wAodt40GaA.


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