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Yorktown Celebrates "A Night to Shine”
By Kelly Allan

NightS imageEarly last month, Yorktown and surrounding communities came together in a big way to celebrate the special needs community at Northside Christian Church where they hosted a "Night to Shine” sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation.

On February 9th, local individuals with special needs aged 14 and up were given a unique prom experience that allowed them to just have fun and be themselves. Prom goers are given the royal treatment to include a limo ride, food and desserts, hair and makeup, and are even topped with decorative crowns and tiaras for the evening.

According to it’s website, The Tim Tebow Foundation, "exists to bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.” There are few that exemplify that beacon of light in what seems, at times, a very dark world more than the countless volunteers it took to make the evening a success. In allowing these individuals a "Night to Shine”, volunteers humbly become the much needed example of good in this world.  Among the many volunteers, three members of the local community, all representative of the Virginia State Police, were in attendance.

The Virginia State Police (VSP) have a close relationship with the special needs community as affiliates with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Sergeant Michelle Anaya with the Virginia State Police has been involved with the Special Olympics for over 10 years, and was named the "Unsung Hero” of 2013 and inducted in the Virginia Torch Run Hall of Fame in 2014, according to the Special Olympics website. Through her time spent with the Special Olympics, Anaya became involved with a "Night to Shine” and is also a member of Northside Christian Church in Yorktown. Though not at all involved with the event for the well-deserved accolades, this hero along with her brothers in blue, Trooper C.D. Compton of Williamsburg and Trooper M.T. Lockett of Newport News, danced the night away in full formal uniform to continue to build up our community in a positive way.

Anaya says of the shining kings and queens, "These individuals are the most caring and loving people you will ever meet. They don’t see bad, they only know good.” And an abundance of good they received in their dutiful ‘dates’ in blue. "I LOVE giving back to the community and showing up in uniform brought so many smiles to them. Their smiles are infectious and it really brings you back to the good in the world, especially in times where it may be easy to lose sight of that.” The brilliant example these law enforcement officers have made also ‘bring you back to the good’ by exemplifying service in its many forms; whether it be the selfless sacrifices they are willing to make on a daily basis by doing their jobs, or by swallowing their pride and dancing the wobble without knowing how. Thank you to EVEYRONE who made a "Night to Shine” a great success and the event coordinators are always looking for volunteers for future events.  For more information please visit


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