For many parents of special-needs children, a date night — or just a one of respite — is almost unheard of. But the Night Lights program at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church provides something rare: Free volunteer care and entertainment twice a month for special-needs kids and their siblings.
From puppet shows and animal visits to the chance to cut loose on the playground, Night Lights kids are engaged and entertained, and moms and dads have a few hours to themselves.
“These are parents who, because of their circumstances, don’t have access to a village to raise their children like the rest of us do,” volunteer Skip Hollandsworth told me in an email. “They go at it alone — determined, dedicated, full of love, but still alone. For them, Night Lights is a godsend. And it has become especially vital to these families as all sorts of social service programs run out of funding and are having to cut back.”
But funding for Night Lights is tight, too. Though it began as a church outreach event, the standalone nonprofit needs grants and donations to stay afloat — and its first big gala, “Shine On,” is April 8 at the Park Cities Hilton.
$250 toward the Night Lights program buys a night of dinner and dancing, live music by the Hunter Sullivan Big Band, and a live auction emceed by radio personality Terry King. Packages up for bidding include a one-week stay at the Four Seasons Aviara in San Diego; airfare for two and a two-night stay at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island; A University of Texas football package with game tickets, a hotel stay in Austin and a framed, autographed Earl Campbell jersey; Bordeaux wine; and a girls’-night-out package to include makeup consultation at Neiman Marcus, theater tickets, and a one-night stay at the Park Cities Hilton.
For more information about tickets, sponsorships, and other underwriting opportunities, call Sutherland at 214-706-9535. To contribute directly, click here.