‘A Night To Shine’

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Volunteer Janice Kaona works on A Night to Shine attendee Jordan Edayan Friday during pre-prom activities at Lihue Missionary Church.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The prom princesses for A Night to Shine wait for their Kauai Bus carriage after being made up and dressed by volunteers at Lihue Missionary Church Friday afternoon.

They approached the red carpet dressed to the nines Friday evening.

A crowd had already gathered and cameras of fans and professionals including noted photographers Mallory Roe and Lori Dill began to click away as cheers went up. Some of the evening’s celebrities paused and threw up their hands to the cheering onlookers. Others, their hair styled professionally and bedecked with flowers, smiled silently as they walked the carpet.

Inside the incredibly decorated Kauai Marriott Resort &Beach Club ballroom, Mason Bundschuh and Dondi Iannucci were tuning up for their part of the evening while DJ Mike Lopez began pumping the beats. Various dignitaries, including Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, waited for the first of the valued guests to enter.

Who were these VIPs being vetted by this vast array of well-wishers? It was the young people of the special needs community who were coming down the red carpet to the applause and cheers of hundreds of people.

Kauai Christian Fellowship and friends, working together with the Tim Tebow Foundation, were putting on A Night To Shine, one of thousands of such events taking place the same evening across the globe for the same reason: to celebrate the least celebrated among us.

With generous support from the Kauai Marriott, volunteers, businesses and donations, event coordinator Vaughn Beyer crafted a fantastic celebration that brought tears to the eyes of many and joy to the young people who were being celebrated.

It was a massive team effort.

Builders including Howard Holt and Ed Speyer created and painted sets, Shari Pilaria gathered a team of decorators to transform the ballroom into a place of wonder, cosmetologists and salons including Laverne’s Hair Styling, Unique Hair Design, Boston Hair Designs, Macy’s make-up department and other pitched in their talents. The Golden Girls from Lihue Missionary Church created corsages and boutonnieres, and folks from Crossfit, Airgas, Puhi Paint, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort &Spa, County of Kauai and the Goodale Foundation all jumped into to help.

At the end of the evening, the celebrants were worn out from dancing and headed home feeling like kings and queens, and those who created and volunteered at the event were cleaning up. All agreed this particular night would absolutely be a night to remember.

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