Night to Shine: An Unforgettable Prom Experience
Writer / Johnette Cruz
Photographer / Carly Glass
Do you remember what your prom experience was like? How memorable the night came to be? When I think of my own high school prom, I think of the awesome dress I got to pick out, the limo, the food, my date, the dancing, time spent with my friends – the experience was worth every moment. I felt like a princess!
Prom for most is an experience of a lifetime. It marks a certain rite of passage … leaving high school and going into the adult world. Night to Shine is exactly like that except this prom experience takes it up about 10 notches.
More than 235 attendees from central Indiana just got an experience that will have a lasting impact! For the first time, Mount Pleasant Christian Church partnered with the Tim Tebow Foundation to bring the community Night to Shine, a full-on prom experience centered on God’s love for people with special needs ages 16 and older.
The event aims to show the complete and unconditional love that Christ has for us all.
This prom is not only for the young but the young at heart. The age range for this year’s Night to Shine was 16 all the way to 74 years young! For most that attended, the evening was something that would not have come to fruition in their lives if it hadn’t been for the foundation. This night was made to show others that regardless of their circumstance, they are welcomed, valued and loved.
The event was absolutely spectacular. As soon as prom-goers entered Mount Pleasant Christian Church’s Community Life Center, their dreams became reality. Every guest of Night to Shine entered the prom on a red carpet completed with welcoming friendly paparazzi and folks cheering them on.
Once inside, guests received VIP treatment including hair, makeup stations and shoeshine stations, corsages and boutonnieres, a karaoke room and dancing!
The highlight of the night came when every one of the Night to Shine guests was crowned as a king or queen of the prom. This is a key factor in the planning of the foundation, a reminder that the attendees are a king or a queen always in the eyes of God.
Tim Tebow’s Foundation started Night to Shine in 2015. Last year, 44 hosts churches and 15,000 volunteers worked together to honor more than 7,000 kings and queens of the prom. This year, the numbers have dramatically increased to more than 200 host churches in 48 states and eight countries. That’s more than 70,000 volunteers and 32,000 honored guests sharing the same amazing prom experience on the same night around the world!
This event could not be made possible without the help of volunteers. Every person who attended was required to have a buddy, someone to share the evening with them and helping with any of their needs. In addition, volunteers were needed to help set up and prepare for the event, run different stations and then tear down the event afterward; Mount Pleasant recruited over 450 volunteers to serve at Night to Shine.
Erik Dellenback, Executive Director of the Tim Tebow Foundation, is amazed at the response to the event itself. “We are honored to be able to work with so many churches across the country and around the world to impact the lives of people with special needs. Our prayer is that this event will one day change the face of Valentine’s Day weekend from simply a celebration of love to a celebration of God’s love for people with special needs.”
You can watch a video of the event, created by Worship Programming Pastor Joey Santos, at bit.ly/mpcc_nite.