Local Night to Shine project manager Mindi Rold and her team of volunteers didn’t let a little thing like a pandemic stop them from celebrating their special needs guests at a “Shine-Thru” event, a pre-party for the annual Night to Shine event that must be held virtually due to pandemic restrictions. The Night to Shine event will be held virtually this Friday; however, Rold’s team held a pre-party this last Saturday, drive-thru style.

Guests and their caregivers were invited to drive through the Horizon Church parking lot where they were greeted with cheers and applause, celebrity style. As the guests rolled through, they were given a crown or tiara and given a “swag bag” filled with goodies, which included a Night to Shine mask, cup, bracelet, sticker and light stick, gift cards from Chick-Fil-A and A&W Root Beer, and cookies from Spaans Cookies and brownies from Tony’s Fine Foods.

Caregivers received their own goodie bag, which included a Night to Shine mask, cup, bracelet and sticker, and a photo frame and gift card from Dutch Bros.

“This past year has been especially hard on our honored guests and caregivers, and this was a small way to help brighten their day. We could not do this without our amazing volunteers,” Rold said.

Special “celebrities”, including a very energetic “Spiderman”, also greeted guests.

“The guy was off the hook with energy when welcoming our guests and their families,” volunteer Tami Anstess said.

This drive-thru event was a pre-party for the Tim Tebow Night To Shine Virtual Experience happening Friday. The exclusive event is for registered guests and their caretakers.

Created by the Tim Tebow Foundation, the annual Night to Shine is dedicated to celebrating people with special needs, giving them an unforgettable prom night experience.

Night to Shine is held in hundreds of locations across the nation and more than 30 countries.

The local event had 77 participants, 45 of whom attended the drive-thru event; 28 participants had their swag bags delivered to their homes by volunteers, and four guests had their goodies mailed to them.

Organizers would like to thank all the outstanding volunteers and donors, including Cosumnes Fire Department, Galt Police Department, Balloons Unlimited, Paige Lampson Photography, Christine Tallent Photography, Chick-fil-A Elk Grove Marketplace, Chick-fil-A March Lane at I-5, Dutch Bros Coffee, A&W Restaurant Lodi, Spaans Cookies, Express Type & Graphics and Tony’s Fine Foods.