A special event for special people: Night to Shine

By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger

“Night to Shine” rolls out the red carpet Feb. 11, 2022, for guests with special needs around the world, and with a new feature: a “Shine-Thru Parade.” In the Quad-City area, the event’s hosts are Our Lady of the River Parish in LeClaire, Risen Christ Lutheran Church in Davenport and Wildwood Church in East Moline, Illinois. The ongoing pandemic led to some additional creativity for the 2022 event.

Tim Tebow, a star athlete and the event’s founder, “shared with us that Night to Shine is committed to the health and safety of our honored guests. We do not want to put them at risk of getting sick, so the event will be virtual, as it was last year, but with an added parade celebration,” said Jennifer Hildebrand, an event organizer with Our Lady of the River Parish.

“A Shine-Thru Parade is a drive-thru version of Night to Shine. The honored guests will get to drive down the red carpet, enjoy music, dancing, and opportunities to have their picture taken, beautiful decorations, special guests, characters, pageant queens and more,” she said. The parade takes place at the Iowa National Guard Armory, 5300 W. Kimberly Rd., Davenport, from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 11. After the Shine-Thru Parade, guests will head home to join other honored guests worldwide for the Night to Shine virtual celebration.

“As they watch, they will enjoy a virtual walk down the red carpet, karaoke, dancing, seeing special guests and, of course, a crowning ceremony in which they will be crowned king or queen of the prom! We will provide them with a link to the virtual celebration as we get closer to Night to Shine,” Hildebrand said.

Registered guests will receive a gift bag of prom souvenirs plus a crown or tiara and a boutonniere or corsage.  All guests and volunteers must register at www.qcnight2shine.org. “We are planning for 500 honored guests and will need at least 150-200 volunteers. Volunteer positions include gift bag assembly, distribution, delivery, and set-up and clean-up, friendly paparazzi, traffic control, security and decorations.”

Guests have the option to attend the Shine-Thru Parade in addition to receiving their gift bag.  However, to avoid long waits, organizers encourage registered guests to pick up their gift bags on Feb. 5 from 10 a.m. to noon at Wildwood Church, 18717 Hubbard Rd., East Moline. Two gown giveaway events for female participants will be held prior to the event. More details are available on the Night to Shine website.


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