Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to be a guest at Night to Shine?

The event is open to anyone with physical or cognitive special needs, ages 14 and older. We do not have specific guidelines for the eligibility of guests in relation to the legitimacy or severity of their disabilities.

When is the deadline for registration for guests?

Registration opens on November 1, 2019 and space is limited.  Registration will be closed once we have reached maximum capacity.

What is minimum age for a Night to Shine guest?

Night to Shine is for anyone with special needs, ages 14 and older.

What is the minimum age of a volunteer?

A volunteer must be 14 and a parent must fill out an application.

Can parents, families, and/or para-professionals attend the evening with the guests?

We welcome family, friends, and para-professionals to be a part of the evening by joining our “paparazzi” to cheer on our guests as they make their way down the red carpet.  Parents and caregivers are also welcome to enjoy our “respite” area and relax during the event if they choose. We do, however, want to allow the guests to engage with their peers during the prom. Unless a family member or para-professional is signed up to be a buddy, we ask that the event be for the Honored Guests and Buddies. If a guest requires constant monitoring, exceptions will be made.  We want the experience to be fun and safe for everyone.

Is there a cost for the event?

No, there is no cost for the guest at all.

What is the attire for guests?

We urge guests to wear attire they would wear to an actual prom.  Tuxes are not required, however!  If you are unable to acquire your own attire, please check that box when registering.  Boutiques will be offered in December and January where guests can browse dresses, dress shirts, & pants, ties & shoes.

What are the various volunteer roles?

There are many ways to get involved with Night to Shine. We’ll need hundreds of volunteers for this year’s event. Here are the areas.

  • Set up the week before
  • Guest Check-In
  • Parking
  • Red Carpet Team
  • Guest Registration
  • Coat Check
  • Activity leaders such as running the Karaoke station, photo booth, limo rides, etc…
  • Media
  • Registration & Administration
  • Boutique Assistance  (organizing and presenting prom dress and men’s attire)
  • Seamstresses and tailors
  • Tear-down & Clean-Up
  • Buddies (assisting guests with dinner and dancing and helping them have a great  time)
  • Simple nail polish applicators, make-up artists and people generally willing to bling a guest up!
Do volunteers receive training?

Yes. All volunteers will receive mandatory training on guest interactions.  Training will include how to recognize and avoid the use of offensive terms and phrases, the development of people first language skills, and general tips for communicating.  Specific training will be provided for each of the volunteer positions.  Volunteer training dates are January 14 at 6:30 p.m. or Wednesday, January 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Do volunteers receive background checks?

Yes, every volunteer who may come in contact with a guest is required to  complete a registration form and will have a background check performed as well.

What if it snows?

The show must go on—even if it snows! We’ll have volunteers and equipment ready if snow is expected. So plan on the event happening regardless of weather conditions, and drive carefully to your Night to Shine location. ONLY in the event roads and highways are closed will we be forced to cancel the event.  In the event of road closure, we will publish notices on all of our websites and social media channels. Unfortunately, due to the massive coordination of catering, volunteers, and entertainment vendors, we would not reschedule the event.

What kind of care is available for guests?

In addition to uniformed EMT, safety & law enforcement presence, each Night to Shine location will offer a Sensory Room where guests can go if they become overstimulated. The Sensory Room will provide a quieter environment staffed by volunteers who will be on hand to encourage guests to participate in sensory-friendly activities and offer comfort as needed.  Parents and Caregivers will also be close by in the Caregivers Room should they be needed for any reason.

I'm a parent or caretaker, what should I do during the event?

Due to the size of the auditorium and maximum capacity, while Night to Shine is happening, parents and caretakers are invited to relax in the Respite Room. We’ll have great food & more awaiting you and a live feed so you can view your loved one having the time of their lives.  During registration, make sure to let us know how many will be taking advantage of the Respite Room during the event.

I cannot help the night of the event. Are there any other ways I can help?
  • A.  General set-up the week before, flower corsages & boutonnieres will be made up the day of the event.
  • B.  If you have any gently used prom/bridesmaids/formal dresses that you are willing to donate, we would love to have them.  Our plan is to offer a night to come “shop for free” for our lady guests so they pick out their perfect gown for the ball!  Contact us at if you have dresses that you are willing to donate.

Where We’re Located

Cross Creek Church
3700 Route 31
Palmyra, NY


Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search