A Day in the Life–Cadets Volunteer at Night to Shine

Last year, cadets from St. John's Northwestern Military School had a life-changing experience volunteering at Night to Shine.

Learn how you can volunteer, attend or sponsor Night to Shine on February 10, 2017. 

6:00 p.m.

Cadets from St. John's Northwestern Military Academy (SJNMA) in Delafield, Wisconsin, arrived at Bethesda in Watertown, Wisconsin, to volunteer for Night to Shine--a prom-night experience for people with developmental disabilities, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. The Watertown-area event, which was one of more than 200 around the world, was co-hosted by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Faith Lutheran Church and School.


6:30 p.m.

Prom kings and queens entered the dance by red carpet where friendly paparazzi greeted them as SJNMA cadets escorted them. While some cadets were stationed to volunteer at the red carpet, other SJNMA volunteers greeted guests and danced alongside the prom attendees.

7:00 p.m. 

The SJNMA cadets opened Night to Shine by presenting the colors to 120 prom kings and queens, and more than 250 volunteers.


SJNMA's Pipe and Drum Band performed for the crowd.


7:30 p.m. 

Cadet/Lieutenant Colonel Jacob Kelley, who was the Battalion Commander at SJNMA last year (and now a graduate), assisted the social media team by holding up the Night to Shine Instagram sign! It was a huge hit, and everyone enjoyed posing in the frame.


7-9 p.m. Attendees dance the night away

The cadets enjoyed dancing alongside the prom kings and queens. They danced the night away to songs including “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, the “Cupid Shuffle” by Cupid and the always classic “Chicken Dance.”


Cadets on dance floor


One cadet had a particularly special experience.

“I was touched by what I experienced as a volunteer at Night to Shine,” said Traevion Donley, Cadet/Sergeant First class at SJNMA. “I was a little nervous for the event, but it ended up being awesome. I met a guy named Kevin. Even though he communicates non-verbally, we were still able to get to know each other and he became my friend.”

At the end of the night, Kevin gave Traevion his prom king crown, and they exchanged email addresses. Traevion plans to catch up with Kevin at least once a month. He said there is no question he will attend events like this in the future.

We are currently looking for volunteers, attendees and sponsors like YOU to help make this year's Night to Shine even better than the last. Learn how to get involved in Bethesda presented Night to Shines in Colorado and Wisconsin.

Here at Bethesda Lutheran Communities, we are always looking for volunteers. Are you interested in participating in something like this? Learn about volunteer opportunities and how to get involved, today!


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