Lethbridge church gives people with disabilities a night to shine – Lethbridge


Braydon Strong felt good and looked good on Friday night.

When he put on his tailored suit and sprayed some cologne, he felt ready for a party.

“He has just been talking about this non-stop for like, at least two weeks,” said Braydon’s caregiver Justin Ball.

The 18-year-old suited up to cut a rug at A Night to Shine – a prom-style celebration for people with disabilities that was held at Victory Church in Lethbridge.

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“His all-time favourite fictional person is Danny Zuko (from the film Grease),” Ball said. “So of course, pink suits with the jacket. He gets super geared up and it’s really fun for me because it’s fun to see him that excited.”

Event in Lethbridge give people with special needs a ‘Night to Shine’

Global News first told Strong’s story last year when he went to the first Night to Shine.

This year, he did things a little differently by taking his friend Nicole as his plus one.

Organizers said the event has grown from 200 to 300 people, which includes families and caregivers.

“When they come in, we can just see the room light up between the individuals [and] the family members. [For] anyone volunteering, it’s hard not to be moved when people walk in the room and they just completely light up and everybody is cheering for them,” Jen Tribble said.

Watch below: (From February 2018) A Night to Shine is an evening hosted in Lethbridge for people with special needs.

Like his caregiver, Strong’s mom said she knew how much he was looking forward to the evening.

“Well it could be the paparazzi when he walked through, and just [how they were] cheering him on,” Sherry van Sligtenhorst said. “It could be the crowns. It could be the dance. It could be the friends that he meets here. It could be that wonderful cheer.

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“To know that there is a prom every single year that he can go to, dress up in the suit that he graduated in… he loves it. And his pink shirt to make him look like Danny Zuko, hey, he is all over it.”

Tribble said the church expects to carry on the event in the years to come and believes next year’s Night to Shine will bring in even more people.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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