A Special Starry Night

December 14, 2023
A Special Starry Night attendees taking a picture in front of the Christmas Tree with red, white and gold ornaments on it.

The Heart of Texas Autism Network, The Arc of McLennan County, and The Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities hosted A Special Starry Night for members of the disability community on Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 6 p.m. at the Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center on Baylor Campus.

"Starry Night was a wonderful event that united an entire community of individuals with and without disabilities," said Dr. Kristen Padilla, BCDD director.  "The Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities, the ARC of McLennan of County, and the Heart of Autism Network joined forces to host an engaging and exciting event that brought so much joy, laughter, dancing, and fellowship to the entire community."

A Special Starry Night was a fun-filled night for families in the disability community to come together and celebrate the holiday season in a way all can enjoy.  Everyone came out in their best-dressed Christmas outfits to enjoy an evening of fun. The dance floor was packed with friends and families dancing the night away.  Vendors also attended to share information about their services with the families.  The biggest highlight of the night was the arrival and visit of Santa to take pictures with each of them.   

“Starry Night was magical for so many reasons, said Coleen Heaton, the Arc McLennan County executive director. "To see the joy on the faces of families as they enjoyed this special time together was enough to carry me through the holiday season." "I’m so thankful The Arc was able to partner with HOTAN and BCCD to give them a night they won’t forget.”

A Special Starry Night started in 2012 and was held at Sul Ross Center.  It has continued every year except for one year due to COVID-19. 

We want to thank all the volunteers who made the night so special for the families.