On Friday night crowds packed the dance floor, dozens showed off their best karaoke skills, and fans got to pose with their favorite superheroes. All this and more took place at the Ardmore Convention Center during Night to Shine, a prom night experience for special needs adults.
According to Taylor High, a member of the planning committee, more than 175 honored guests attended the event.
“It was a fantastic night,” High said. “This has been the best year yet. We’re really figuring out how to execute it in the best way that we can for the guests because it’s really all about them. They’re the reason we do this.”
In order to make the night run smoothly, High said there were nearly 300 volunteers at the event. Each volunteer had their own job to do. Some served food, some helped with the activities, but perhaps the most important role some of the volunteers held was that of being a “buddy.”
Each honored guest was paired with a buddy and they spent the evening together dancing, singing and enjoying themselves. Managing Editor of The Ardmoreite Robby Short described his experience.
“This is one of my favorite local events, which says a lot, because most local events only require me to show up and eat food,” Short said. “Their reactions and the way they interact with everyone really hammers home the need of community and what these kind of events really mean to the people involved — not just the ladies and gentlemen enjoying their night out, but the people who get to interact with them. Seeing those reactions and what your direct involvement means to them is a profound experience.”
Seth Morgan was the volunteer in charge of running the event’s photo booth. He said it was great to see everyone having such a great time.
“We’re taking photos of all the guests with their buddies or their favorite superheroes,” Morgan said. “It’s just a way for them to have a little keepsake from the night.”
Some of the most popular volunteers of the night were those dressed as superheroes and other popular characters. Guests went wild with cheers when they first came into the room. Emily Leahey came dressed as Supergirl.
“This is my first time to be here, and it’s been so much fun,” Leahey said. “Everyone is having a really great time. I can’t wait to get back out there to the dance floor because that’s what Supergirl does.”