Lake Erie College Community Provide a Night to Remember with A Night to Shine
After a few years of canceled events, Lake Erie College students had a chance again this year to participate in Night to Shine, an event established by the Tim Tebow Foundation. 90 members of the LEC community, including students, staff and faculty, volunteered their time to give people with special needs from the Lake County area a prom-like event tailor-made to leave them with an unforgettable experience. Guests and volunteers gathered at Painesville Baptist Church on Friday, February 10 for a truly special evening.
Professor of Special Education Dr. Katie Krammer organized the student and faculty volunteers and assists the Night to Shine event planners with organizing prom dates or “buddies.” Dr. Krammer thanked Pastor Stoney Drain and the Painesville Baptist Church for organizing this event and providing the venue.
“The opportunity for LEC to serve as volunteers for this incredible night is a gift to everyone involved,” said Dr. Krammer. “This year was particularly special with many of the attendees being Miracle League athletes seeing many of their coaches there volunteering. Additionally, we added three Disney princesses from Second Star to the Right funded by a Deepwood grant which created some special photo opportunities. Overall, the memories made by prom attendees and those who helped will last a lifetime."
More than 100 special guests at the event had a chance to spend an incredible time with students from various majors, faculty and staff from all across campus. Volunteers also came from Painesville Baptist Church and Miracle League of Lake County. Painesville Baptist Church hired Auburn Career Center students to provide photography and video for the event.
“I loved watching the participants walk down the red carpet,” said Lake Erie College senior Ashleigh Trobek. “I was on the sidelines cheering them on, and the smiles on people's faces were unforgettable. This was truly a night for them to shine, and their smiles were glimmering. The participants were giving high fives and just beaming with joy.”
Night to Shine rolls out the red carpet every year for guests. Those in attendance are celebrated for who they are, and given a chance to party with consideration for their conditions, ranging from autism, heart conditions, deafness and more. Those interested in participating in the future can mark their calendars for next February.
Trobek definitely recommends volunteering for future events. She said, “Volunteering with a Night to Shine solidified my decision to go into the field of special education because it was the most heart-warming feeling to make their night- nothing compares to it. If you are given the opportunity to participate, you 100% should because it is life changing!”