Night to Shine gives people with special needs memorable prom

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JEFFERSON CITY – Cars filed into Capital West Christian Church early Friday in preparation for the much anticipated Night to Shine event.

Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience for people with special needs, ages fourteen and older.

“My favorite part of the night is just seeing those smiles,” said Todd Tellman, a coordinator for the event.

Every guest of Night to Shine entered the event on a red carpet surrounded by a crowd and paparazzi.

“A lot of our guests have never been to a prom and they look forward to it each year,” Tellman said. “It’s the highlight of the year and the highlight of our volunteer’s year too.”

Hundreds of people assisted with hair and makeup, shoe shining, limousine rides, corsages and boutonnieres, a catered dinner, karaoke, prom favors, a Respite Room for parents and caretakers and dance floor activities.

Social pastor Rick Yoder said the church has done Night to Shine for years, but he continues to see more and more interest. 

Last year 375 host churches and 150,000 volunteers came together to celebrate 75,000 honored guests with special needs across the country.

“The goal of the event is to show the love of Christ to a group of people who often get left aside,” Yoder said.

This worldwide movement takes place in all 50 states and 16 countries around the world.

“I like to be able to bring the whole community together for one night and try to get some unity in the world,” Tellman said.

There were not nominations for prom king and queen. In fact, the finale of the night was Tim Tebow crowning everyone as royalty.

Jefferson City mayor Carrie Tergin told the guests, “You all shine every night, not just tonight.”