Friday was the fourth year Grace Baptist Church has held the event for the Vermillion Community.
“The smile of each and every individual during the whole night is why I keep coming back,” said Erika Clark, USD occupational therapy student
An Evening With The Stars, previously known as A Night To Shine, moved away from the Tim Tebow Foundation prior to the event this year. Instead, First Financial Bank in Dakota Dunes and SESDAC, who assist many of those who attended, fundraised for a professional DJ, catering, a photo booth and limo rides.
The group began fundraising their $7,500 budget in June, which was established to keep the event at the same level of quality it has been in the past. They also supply dresses for women to wear to the social, according to Ellen Margheim, event coordinator.
Over 100 volunteers helped the prom-goers throughout the evening. Margheim said she never has trouble finding enough volunteers to put on the event.
“85%, at least, of our volunteers are from outside the church. A good majority come from the university and from the community, which is really exciting,” Margheim said.
Clark, who has volunteered the last four years, was a buddy this year. She said she made it an emphasis to make the evening fully about her guest.
“When someone gets you, you’re paired up for the evening and spend the whole night hanging out – doing whatever they want,” Clark said, “bec
Margheim said there are nine volunteers who have volunteered all four years and 14 who have been with them for three years.
“That warms my heart,” she said. “(This event has a large) impact on the volunteers, not just the guests.”
Amidst a change of date and fully funding themselves, the group feels the event was a great success.
“I’m very pleased with where it’s at,” Margheim said. “The guests enjoyed themselves. So, I don’t have a vision for where it can go because I’m so pleased with where it’s at.”
Margeim said putting on an event like this was stressful, but she does it so other people can experience a night that’s fully about them.
“This is so rewarding,” she said. “It’s so tiring and so much to think about. And every year, I have thought I’m not doing this again, but the day after, I’m thinking about how I want to do it differently next year, how I want to improve it.”
USD and its student play a major role in the
“The university has a great impact on the volunteers because when you go, a lot of the volunteers are students,” Clark said. “The USD students are big majorities of their buddies. Just seeing how people interact and how it’s spread over the years means it will only grow.”