Night to Shine

Attendees at the “Night to Shine” event grace the red carpet.
Image Credit: ClemsonLIFE

Several members of ClemsonLIFE’s (Learning is for Everyone) leadership team helped organize a “Night to Shine” dance at ALIVE Wesleyan Church in Central, South Carolina. The prom-style event had 200 guests with special needs and over 220 Clemson University student and staff volunteers.

The event provides teenagers and adults with disabilities the opportunity to be celebrated for who they are. Four hundred volunteers helped to set up the event, provided support and served as “buddies” for guests. Each guest received a one-on-one buddy for the event.

“The ‘Night to Shine’ prom is an event in which our community joins together to pour out love onto some of our most incredible community members,” said Chris Egan, a volunteer coordinator and community liaison for ClemsonLIFE. “It represents the unity that a community can have when they come together to love and respect others. Many different churches, organizations, schools and businesses donated time, money or other resources to make the event happen.”

Created by the Tim Tebow Foundation, the “Night to Shine” event serves as a formal dance for teens and adults with disabilities. This year more than 200 churches across 48 states and seven countries hosted the event. In mid-February, more than 32,000 honored guests and 70,000 volunteers shared the same experience.

ClemsonLIFE supports the concept that enhancing academic, social, employment and life skills will better prepare students with disabilities to lead full and productive lives. It is a comprehensive post-secondary education program designed to help young adults with intellectual disabilities gain employment and live independently.