A luminescent evening for special needs prom participants


Fancy dresses, limo rides and walking down the red carpet to a full applause — this is Night to Shine, an event sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. A prom for individuals over the age of 14 with special needs is held in every state across the nation the weekend before Valentine’s Day. Of the 375 church locations hosting the event this year on Feb. 10, there are 17 right here in North Carolina.

Thousands of honored guests are treated like prom kings and queens for the day. From head to toe, the pampering beforehand covers everything from full hairstyles and makeup to shoe shines. Guests are given a grand welcome and paired with a date to accompany them throughout the night. A live band or DJ plays music and the dancing lasts all night long. Not only that, but there is fun to be had posing in the photo booth, singing karaoke and eating hors d’oeuvres.

“This event is an amazing opportunity for us to show God’s love to those with special needs,” said Jessica Benninghoff, the special needs ministry core director at Hope Community Church. “This is a night for our guests to shine and know that they are loved!”

Whether wearing a corsage or boutonniere, tiara or crown — the best accessory on every person in attendance is always a big smile from ear to ear.


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