Sunday, June 16, 2024

Special guests shine at Night to Shine event

by Stacey Tinsley
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Stacey Tinsley, Bossier Press-Tribune

Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, Cypress Baptist Church in Benton hosted the Night to Shine Prom 2024 on Friday, February 9. The prom night experience celebrates people with special needs and is centered around God’s love.

“I am blown away by how we are seeing God use the church to step into this space as an advocate for people with special needs. It’s not about my foundation or the churches themselves, but about communities coming together to love and celebrate people with differences. Every town, every village, every state and every country needs a Night to Shine for their special needs community – a chance to be a part of something significant and life-changing…and to be blessed in the process,” said Tim Tebow, founder of the Tim Tebow Foundation.

The Tim Tebow Foundation had a vision to partner with churches all over the nation and the world to provide an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love for people with special needs ages 14 and above. In 2015, the first Night to Shine was held in 44 churches in 26 states in the United States (and in three countries around the world) with 15,000 volunteers coming together to honor 7,000 guests. At the last indoor Night to Shine, in February 2020, 721 churches in all 50 states in the United States (and 34 countries around the world) came together with 215,000 volunteers to serve and celebrate 110,000 honored guests with special needs.

At Cypress Baptist Church, there were approximately 350 registered guests, with around 900 volunteers working hard to make this year’s event a success. “Night to Shine” is a red-carpet event that includes a warm welcome from friendly crowds and paparazzi upon arrival. The special guests were then paired with a buddy for the evening. The special guests were also offered a shoe shine for the males and hair/makeup touchup for the females in order to provide them with the last minute touches before heading to the pre-party tent. Upon arriving at the pre-party tent, special guests were given a corsage or boutonniere. And then, the fun began with guests dancing to the music being played by the on-site DJ music while waiting to walk through a lighted tunnel to get into a limousine. Then, the special guest took a limousine ride to the red carpet where they walked and were greeted by paparazzi cheering for them. Then, the special guests were able to go inside to eat, sing karaoke, take fun photos and dance the night away. And at the end of the prom, they were each crowned king and queen of the prom.

For more information on the worldwide movement of Night to Shine (sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation) visit: http://www.timtebowfoundation.org/index.php/night-to-shine/

Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune – Special guests enjoyed a night full of fun, sparkle and smiles during the Night to Shine Prom 2024, Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, at Cypress Baptist Church in Benton on Friday, February 9.

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