Editorial: Some nights can be good for the soul

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 14, 2016

Salisbury has its share of big fundraisers, all for quite worthy causes, where people donate significant sums of money in exchange for nighttime galas usually highlighted by formal attire, elegant decorations, dancing, open bars and rich food buffets.

The venues often are places such as the Salisbury Station, Trolley Barn, Catawba College or the Country Club.

But Salisbury and Rowan County also are fortunate to have their share of smaller affairs, patterned after these heavy hitters, which go a long way in raising our collective spirits more than money.

A pair of recent events come to mind; the city of Salisbury’s 20th Annual Father-Daughter Dance at the Salisbury Civic Center and the Tim Tebow Foundation’s “Night to Shine” at the First Baptist Church Ministry Center.

Friday, at the Night to Shine, about 170 special needs individuals attended their “prom” and were given the red-carpet, VIP treatment. The night included corsages and boutonnieres, karaoke, shoe shines, hair-and makeup stations and dancing.

At the end of the evening, everyone was crowned a king or queen of the prom. A large group of volunteers pulled off this evening to remember as First Baptist Church joined more than 100 churches nationwide who participated on the same night.

The Night to Shine was a great event, as was the Father-Daughter Dance leading up to Valentine’s Day. The Father-Daughter Dance sells out quickly — this year, some 325 tickets were sold — and it becomes a night to remember for both father and daughter.

There are photographers, conga lines, catered food, custom-printed tickets and a DJ. Some fathers take their daughters out for dinner before the dance. Many come back year after year, as long as their daughters fall into the age window of 4 to 13.

City recreation officials knew they had something special after that first Father-Daughter Dance 20 years ago and have followed it up with a Mother-Son Dance later in the year. Good for them and their equal opportunity approach.

The year ahead will hold local events both big and small, all deserving of our attention, if only we could. The big fundraisers for organizations such as the LandTrust for Central North Carolina, Historic Salisbury Foundation, Novant Health Rowan, Salisbury Symphony and Waterworks Visual Arts Center will be held as always, as will the fundraisers relying on spaghetti, pancakes, barbecue, chicken, fish, pinto beans, ice cream and Brunswick stew.

Meanwhile, all kinds of festivals and other public gatherings also cram our community calendars, making it tough to pick and choose what to leave out.

With your time and money, financially support and attend as many things as you can. Every now and then, too, give yourself the red carpet treatment.