Their Night to Shine

The Tim Tebow Foundation puts on a prom for all people with special needs, and Northern Colorado is just one of many regions that hosts the event.

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Courtesy of NOCO Night to Shine Website

Participants are getting crowned during the crowning ceremony at Night to Shine 2019

Lyndsay Walsh, Feature Editor

Every school year, high schools around the United States hold senior proms for their students, but oftentimes, kids with Special needs are excluded and forgotten. To celebrate their differences and great presence, the Tim Tebow Foundation holds a prom exclusive to all students and adults with disabilities. Every year, churches and other venues host this unforgettable Night to Shine all around the United States and other countries to celebrate the greatness that is the special needs community. This year, Night to Shine will be held on February 7 at Timberline Church in Fort Collins. 

This event is not possible without the help of volunteers throughout the region. Anyone ages 12 and up can volunteer. People under the age of 18 need a parent or guardian with them, but are still welcome to participate in this great event. The volunteer positions include checking in and out the guests, event set up, food preparation, limo assistance, red carpet assistance, paparazzi, greeting guests, companions, respite team, floater team, coat check in, hair and makeup assistance, flower team, dance floor team, quiet room team, bathroom assistance, photo booth team, and clean up team. To learn more and register, visit https://noconighttoshine.com/volunteer/. The event is in need of more volunteers, and will allow anyone to participate!

Throughout the night, participants can dance on the large dance floor, eat the food prepared by volunteers, sing their hearts out in Karaoke, take photo booth pictures, get formal photos taken by professionals, take limo rides, or hang out with characters like Darth Vador, Captain Jack Sparrow, and other fan favorites. The highlight of the night is when all participants are crowned kings and queens of Night to Shine. A big countdown occurs in preparation for the crowning ceremony, at which point their companion or date places the crown or tiara upon their partner’s head. As the participants wrap up the evening and prepare to leave, they receive a gift bag containing Night to Shine merchandise. 

Only 655 churches and other buildings are willing to host this event, and Northern Colorado is one of the many regions within the United States that participates, along with a select 16 countries, according to the Night to Shine website. The goal of the prom is, “[to] work with churches around the country to provide an incredible prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs, ages 14 and older,” said the Night to Shine mission statement. The entire experience, ranging from a red carpet entrance to a prestige crowning celebration, all with the help of supporters and volunteers, makes Night to Shine one to remember.