Q: How would you define an individual with special needs?
A: The event is open to anyone with physical, developmental, 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.
Q: What is the minimum age for Night to Shine guests?
A: Night to Shine is for anyone with special needs, ages 14 and older. There is no age maximum.
Q: If guests come as a couple, do we still need two buddies?
A: We recommend two buddies, as you will want to be fully prepared for bathroom breaks, assisting your guests with food, dancing, etc.
Q: Do you require background checks for volunteers under age 18?
A: If you have children under age 18 who would like to volunteer, please have their parents or guardians sign a permission release. We also recommend adult supervision for volunteers under the age of 16.
Q: Can a guest bring their own buddy?
A: Typically, we recommend not pre-assigning buddies, however, we understand that in some cases a relationship may have been established prior to Night to Shine. If a guest would like to bring their own buddy, that is perfectly fine, provided their buddy registers as a volunteer, attends volunteer training and receives a background check for the safety of all the honored guests at the event.
Q: Do we have to assign a buddy to a guest who is attending with a parent or caregiver?
A: A buddy needs to be assigned to each guest. However, we can make exceptions for guests who need their parent/caregiver with them throughout the night due to their needs. We strongly encourage all parents and caregivers to take advantage of the Respite Room, if possible. If a parent/caregiver needs to spend the evening with their child/guest, we ask that they register as a buddy, complete volunteer training and a background check.