Fifty stars, fifty dreams, fifty chances for a bright future, if we only give them the right spotlight. Just like diamonds in the rough, young men and women with special needs are buried under mountains of neglect, shame, and social segregation, waiting for their light to be revealed and illuminate the world. In the midst of political paralysis, economic deterioration, and restless Lebanese streets, SKILD hosted its second annual Night to Shine in order to plant a seed of hope for youth with special needs and their parents. Amidst cheering crowds, they entered accompanied by their parents with smiles on their faces and twinkles in their eyes hiding a thousand tears and dreams broken by not being included in society at a younger age.
Celebrations began with pampering our special guests! Tens of volunteers gathered around the special guests to offer them make-up, hairdos, and shoe shining. The paparazzi did not leave our stars, grabbing every chance they could get to take their pictures in an effort to also catch their inner beauty.
As education and social affairs representatives mingled with the parents, the celebrities and special guests prepared themselves for the crowning ceremony. The special guests descended the stairs like royalty accompanied by their dates until they reached the end of the red carpet where a celebrity was waiting to crown them as kings and queens.
Night to Shine is an unforgettable opportunity to bring joy to the hearts of individuals with special needs and to remind them that they are royalty in God’s eyes. However, it is also a reminder for us that they deserve to shine every day of the year, not just one night.
By Daniella Daou
Thank You Messages to SKILD:
"I would like to thank you very much for your invitation to this wonderful party. Reem was very happy at this event with her friends. Thank you!"
"Please accept our heart-felt gratitude for arranging the event, which was beyond our expectations. We will remember this event for a long time. Hiba’s smile and happiness proved that the event "Night to Shine" made her very special. The SKILD team worked hard to succeed at this event. Thank you to the Tim Tebow Foundation!"
"To the people organizing Night to Shine:
We thank you so much for your amazing work and for the precious opportunity that you granted our son Charbel. This night was a new and amazing experience for him. It planted joy in him, made his spirits soar and increased his confidence. The atmosphere was amazing. The smallest of details were a part of Charbel’s joy: the red carpet, the dance, the dinner, and the attention. All these, plus our being there to share these beautiful moments with him, really made him feel like a king. The moment he came home he started telling everyone about all the details of his experience. We’ve never seen a celebration like this before and we haven’t met people who embrace our children, give them affection, and treat them like their own, like you have. You have our deepest gratitude and thanks and may God reward you for everything you are doing."
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