Night of the Super Stars 2018

Once again, on Saturday, February 17th, Night of Superstars honored children who triumph over adversity with courage, hard work, and big hearts! Night of Superstars is an annual red carpet charity that recognizes extraordinary St. Louis area children who are nominated by area community members. The children honored excel as citizens, students, and athletes while facing serious and often, life-threatening health challenges.

This year, Sunnyhill was very proud to have 4 children that we support participate in this extraordinary event, including Brayden, Calvin, Allie, and Jayden. Learn more about each of these amazing kids, and check out their red carpet experience below!

Since 2014, now 7-year-old Brayden has made great strides during his time in the Sunnyhill program. Brayden is from Hillsboro, and he is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Autism is a neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors. Children with autism can have difficulty socializing and communicating, and they can have difficulty completing daily tasks.

Before Brayden started at Sunnyhill, he was unable to complete self-care routines independently. Now, he is able to wash his hands, brush his teeth, bathe, get dressed, and complete bathroom routines all on his own. Brayden was also nonverbal when he started working with Sunnyhill back in 2014. He is now able to speak five to six word utterances. Not only that, but he is also starting to work on grade level school work. His mom, Julia, as well as the whole staff at Sunnyhill are beyond thrilled with Brayden’s accomplishments. They know that the reason he is doing so well is because he never gives up.

He always keeps trying, even when things get tough.

Calvin, the 6-year-old son of Steven and Tiffany, has many interests, but it is no secret that he loves anything with wheels. He enjoys spending his free time helping his dad work on cars or anything else mechanical that might need a repair. Of course, he also likes spending time with his mom gardening. However, he would choose tractors and cars over just about anything.

Calvin is diagnosed with Down Syndrome, and he receives support from Sunnyhill. The staff at Sunnyhill can’t say enough good things about Calvin. He works extremely hard, and is doing especially well in math. He is recently able to count to 30 without assistance, and his parents couldn’t be more proud. Calvin is also working hard on his speech development and writing his name. He is almost proficient with this goal. Even though Calvin may face some challenges, he is one of the kindest, most cheerful kids the staff at Sunnyhill gets to see.

When Allie, daughter of Gabrielle and Chris, was just 4-years-old, she was diagnosed with autism. At the time, she was nonverbal, was not potty-trained, and had such bad sensory issues that she could not even brush her teeth. She didn’t even want to interact with her siblings or play with toys like most children that age do. Now, at the age of 7, so much has changed for Allie. She has grown so much in the past two years since she started receiving services from Sunnyhill. Allie’s mom says, “Allie is a completely different child. ”

With the help of Sunnyhill and her family, Allie is now able to do things like brush her teeth and make decisions on her own. She has started to talk, read simple books, and interact with her siblings, which makes them very excited. Allie is also learning to count and is potty trained now. She is very proud of herself, and so is her family. They know they are lucky to have such a smart girl like Allie in the family. She makes things whole. Her mom says, “We have hope for her for the future that she will continue to grow. That’s our ultimate goal-give her the best life possible."

6-year-old Jayden is a sweet little girl with many people around her who love her to pieces. She is a twin to her sister Mia; Mia is neurotypical and Jayden is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, a disorder that affects a person’s perception of and abilities with social interaction and communication. Jayden’s parents, Brian and Erica, say how wonderful their girls are with one another. They are best of friends.

There are many reasons that Jayden is extraordinary, but what her family notices the most is her ability to get back up again. In situations that are hard for Jayden, she often displays meltdowns. However, even though the moment is hard for her, she has the ability to conquer her tears and push ahead, whether it be a crowded room or trying something for the first time. Jayden’s mom tells Jayden’s sister Mia that Jayden is stronger than mommy because she will try things when other people would just give up when uncomfortable situations come before them. Jayden is a beautiful, sweet, strong, loving girl who you can’t help but be drawn towards. Her family is proud of her and her ability to conquer things that others may walk away from.

Check out these kiddos on their red carpet debut below!

To learn more about Night at the Super Stars, please go to 

Caroline Deacon