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Greek Life gives light to a Night to Shine

Members of the Greek Life community participated in Night to Shine event at Lima First Assembly of God. (Greek Life photo).

Everyone remembers senior prom. The dresses, the tuxedos, the corsages, the decorations; they were all part of the experience of a night we would remember for years to come. Because of this accessibility, it is also easy to forget just how important these opportunities are. On Feb. 13 volunteers from the Greek Life community traveled to the Lima First Assembly of God to give children with special needs a “Night to Shine.” This event reminded Greek Life just how important serving others is.

The Night to Shine Prom is a program sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. The program reaches out to churches across the nation to host a complete prom night experience for people with special needs. In celebration of the foundation’s five year anniversary, this initiative was set up in 50 cities across the United States with over 100 people in attendance within each church on the night of the event. At each event there was a red carpet entrance, dinner, elaborate decorations, limo rides, crowns and hats, professional photography and —of course— dancing provided for those who attended.

During the event, Greek Life students were paired up with a person with special needs and spent the night as their “buddy”. Whether it was helping make them feel comfortable at the dance or showing them moves on the dance floor, the event was hands-on for Greek Life students and showed the true meaning of community service.

In the short time Greek Life was at the church, many lives were positively impacted. Ashlee McDonnell, member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority talked about how the night impacted her.

“The parent of the child I buddied up with sent me pictures through email and thanked me for making Rebecca's night perfect.  I was so humbled by the difference it made to not only the students but the parents who don't get to see their children interacting in settings that we consider to be normal,” said Ashlee.

The night was not only a “night to remember” for the special needs children, but it was also an important night for the students of Greek Life. Many left feeling as if they had touched someone’s life. The parents and children who attended were genuine and were not used to experiencing an event revolving around ensuring they shine. The decorations were handcrafted, everyone received a headpiece and photos were being taken left and right to re-create prom night. The best part—the students of Greek Life danced all over the dance floor with everyone. It truly showed how to serve and make an impact.

Keith Durkin, Professor of Sociology and Adviser of Delta Sigma Phi said, “We learn the importance of reaching out to others, the importance of community, the importance of perspective. We all complain about our lives and college. This shows us how blessed and fortunate we really are.”

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