BRANFORD, Conn. – Quinnipiac men’s and women’s lacrosse participated in the “Night to Shine” event, which took place on Feb. 10 at Vox Church in Branford, Connecticut. “Night to Shine” is a prom for people with special needs, and is hosted at churches internationally in conjunction with the Tim Tebow Foundation.
“I can’t thank Quinnipiac Athletics and Quinnipiac Lacrosse enough for the help of their student-athletes! They were such a blessing to our event,” said Maria Conrad, Director at Vox Church. “Guests were escorted down the red carpet, enjoyed limo rides, karaoke, a dj party, dinner, face painting, were pampered by hair and makeup teams, and more.”
“I am so proud of the work our student-athletes did to make this event a success,” said Casey Stark, Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Support. “So often we forget about the hard work that needs to be done behind the scenes to make big events a success for the people we serve. For “Night to Shine” our Bobcats rolled up their sleeves and did the heavy lifting so that the Vox leaders, volunteers, and honored guests could enjoy a special night to remember. Special thanks to Coach Poli and Coach Kotowicz for their enthusiastic support of getting their teams engaged in this very special opportunity.”
The Bobcats’ men’s lacrosse program helped as part of the setup crew – working with church leadership to move furniture, set up photos booths, roll out the red carpet, and transform the church into a prom-like atmosphere for the honored guests.
Members of the Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse team participated as part of the dance team. The Bobcats’ student-athletes came dressed ready for prom and helped start the party, showing off their best dance moves to make the honored guests feel welcome.
The rest of women’s lacrosse came in after the event as part of the tear-down crew to help restore the church to its original condition and get it ready for Sunday services. They helped to put up baby gates in the church school rooms, clean up food areas and break rooms, and set up the sanctuary for services.
“Night to Shine was an incredible experience,” said Sophia Iaccino from the women’s lacrosse program. “It was unique and I have never been a part of something so important before. It was a blessing to be a part of something much bigger than myself. Seeing my teammates and I make kids with special needs and their families smile will forever be imprinted on me. It is important to honor the community we are a part of as it has given so much to the Bobcat family.”
“We had a great time setting up for “Night to Shine” hosted by Vox Church,” said Zack Siegal from the men’s lacrosse team. “It is important for us to give back to the community that supports us throughout the season and overall leave a positive mark on the people around us. We were pleased to be able to volunteer for such a great cause as we wanted to do all we could do to ensure these guests had a spectacular night they would remember for the rest of their lives. It was such a great way to bond as a team and we look forward to continuing to volunteer in the area.”
The event served nearly 70 honored guests with special needs, and the Bobcats joined more than 250 volunteers to make the event a success.
For more information on “Night to Shine” in Branford, visit https://nighttoshinebranford.com/
Photos by Dale Chube and Vox Church Photo Team