St. Croix Lutheran’s Night to Shine 2018

For the second year, St. Croix Lutheran Academy was honored to host Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs, ages 14 and older. On one night, February 9, 2018, 537 churches and schools from around the world came together to host Night to Shine for approximately 90,000 honored guests through the support of 175,000 volunteers!
Night to Shine 2018 at St. Croix Lutheran was an extraordinary night that brought together over 225 honored guests, their parents/caretakers, and over 500 volunteers, including students, staff, alumni, association congregation members, and community members. The student volunteers, over 250 strong, primarily served as buddies to each of the honored guests. Having the opportunity to crown each of the honored guests Kings and Queens of the prom was a true privilege. A parent of one of the guests wrote, “Honestly, I have never been a part of anythingso heartwarming in my life!!” Another mom wrote, “Please thank everyone involved for really creating memories and acceptance for individuals with special needs. It is so special that for three hours they have such positive and loving attention placed on them!”
An important goal of the Night to Shine movement is to change the narrative on how individuals with special needs are viewed. In a world where human life is often not properly valued, Night to Shine presents the St. Croix Lutheran community and students the opportunity to celebrate the gift of life in a meaningful way. Students have the opportunity to grow in empathy, selflessness, compassion while reaching out to honored guests with the message of God’s love – the message that all lives are extraordinarily important to God. 
As a host of Night to Shine, St. Croix Lutheran receives a grant from the Tim Tebow Foundation which helps offset the cost of the event. This year the Foundation grant covered approximately one-third of the event cost. The remaining expenses were covered by businesses and private donors who have a special place in their hearts for the honored guests and generously offered their services and donations. The evening is completely complimentary for the honored guests. In an effort to grow Night to Shine into an even larger worldwide movement, the grant received by the Tim Tebow Foundation decreases each year as each host takes on more of the costs. This model allows Night to Shine to grow worldwide, impacting more individuals’ lives.
Night to Shine 2018 was the perfect opportunity for the honored guests to do just that – SHINE!  As one student volunteer said, “I remember ALL THE SMILES!! It brought me so much joy to see all of the smiles on everyone’s faces.”