On February 9th, in more than 500 churches across the nation and in 16 countries, the Tim Tebow Foundation once again created a spectacular evening of glamour and unforgettable moments through Night to Shine. The Compass Church was generous in hosting this event for Columbia and recruiting volunteers to set up and ensure a night of magic.
An annual prom night experience for individuals with disabilities, Night to Shine delivers and exceeds expectations. It leaves an impression every year on Hannah Prince, Program Manager for Community Living.
“The Night to Shine Prom is such an awesome event. It made my heart so happy to see all of our individuals dressed up and having a ball! For many, it’s the first time they’ve been able to go to prom. You can feel the excitement and joy as soon as you walk into the building. It’s certainly an event that even we, as managers, look forward to!”
Walking up to the building on a red carpet, the paparazzi snapped pictures. Everyone had a beaming smile. The mood was contagious. You checked your coat and met up with your buddy. Local volunteers paired up with guests so parents, guardians, and caregivers could relax in the respite room downstairs.
A corsage or boutonniere was provided for every attendee. Jimmy showed off his boutonniere and waited for his picture to be taken.
Hair, makeup, and shoe shine stations were available. Kaia, Brandi, and Abby were getting their hair and makeup done professionally while Drew wasn’t shy about the quality of his shoe shine before he hit the dance floor.
Entering the main auditorium under a large balloon arch, the magic of the night continued. The walls of the room were lined with tables of snacks, candy, and refreshments. Life-sized letters spelled out “prom” near the stage. A DJ was poised to cue up the next dance hit.
Jason smiled the entire time he danced with his buddy. Ruth waved to the onlookers from the dance floor like proper royalty. At one point, a dance train was started and the crowd attached to the end, one by one.
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If dancing wasn’t your thing, you wandered into the karaoke room complete with a stage, audio equipment, and lyrics projected on a large screen so everyone could sing along. Mark sang along with a group, and Ruth saw an opportunity to create a new dance floor. Larry waited for his turn to hit the high notes and Minna sat comfortably with her buddy, taking in the whole scene.
If you preferred the thrill of a ride, you got in line with the others. “We’re waiting for the limo,” said Alisa as she chatted with the people around her. Blake smiled for his picture, but was sure not to lose his place in line.
Toward the end of the night, everyone made her or his way to the main auditorium. Volunteers crowned each guest king or queen of the night with a sparkling crown. A video message from Tim Tebow played on projector screens telling them they’re special and loved.
A gigantic net gave way to a shower of silver and blue balloons. The night ended with more dancing and smiling. This event is highly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed each year.
Wouldn’t you love to experience a night like this, a Night to Shine?