With people watching in-person from the crowd for the first time since 2019, the NightLights lighting ceremony of the big blue tree in front of the First Presbyterian Church on South College Avenue, it was difficult to not feel the strength of the community the entire night.

For the hour-long ceremony, several people stood at the podium to shed light on the importance of Realities for Children's goal with the annual display.

In addition to fantastic introductions from our very own right here at Townsquare Media - AJ with mornings on New Country 99.1, Dave Jensen with Retro 102.5, and Emily Mashak with 94.3 the X - several heartwarming speeches took place last night (Dec. 1).

For one, Blue Credit Union, the main presenting sponsor for the NightLights event, donated an additional $500 on the spot while at the podium.

Even more incredibly, Realities for Children met their NightLights event match as of today (Dec. 2) as well!

Craig Secher, President and Founder of Realities for Children, also spoke about the history of the ceremony and the importance of NightLights during the holiday season. He also introduced an incredibly special guest speaker: Katana Chavez.

Chavez is a survivor of the darkness of child abuse and neglect. Through her incredible testimony and life story, she's been a strong partner with Realities for Children and their NightLights event.

As the evening came to a close, local musician Emma Marie sang the NightLights tree to life with a tear-jerking song.

Check out the NightLights night in photos below. If you would like to donate or become a guardian angel this season, all the information can be found HERE. You can donate a NightLight or take the pledge to become a guardian angel this year.

Realities for Children's NightLights Lighting Ceremony 2021

Realities For Children NightLights 2020 Ceremony

PHOTOS: Loveland's Winter Wonderlights 2020