Photo: Night to Shine at Liquid Church
The Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine made a glorious return to an in-person event on February 10 as local churches joined the nationwide party that crowned special needs guests as kings and queens.
Every guest entered the complimentary event on a red carpet complete with a warm welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi. Once inside, guests received the royal treatment, including hair and makeup stations, shoe-shining areas, limousine rides, corsages and boutonnieres, a catered dinner, karaoke, prom favors, a dance floor… all leading up to the moment when each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom.
Local churches that hosted Night to Shine events include Liquid Church (Parsippany), Cornerstone Christian Church (Wyckoff), Bethany Church (Washington Twp.), The Chapel (Lincoln Park), Christ Fellowship (Elizabeth), Francis of Assisi (Ringwood), St. Ann Melkite Catholic Church (Woodland Park), and The Life Church New York (Mamaroneck), and Grace Community Church (Warwick).
Liquid Church welcomed approximately 350 prom guests, who were served by 400 volunteers.
“At Liquid Church, it is our passion and privilege to serve families with a wide variety of Special Needs, whether that’s on Sunday during our worship services or at events such as Night To Shine,” said Tim Lucas, lead pastor and founder of Liquid Church. “Our hope is for every person with special needs to feel a sense of belonging and recognize their God-given potential, so we are honored to once again participate in Night To Shine this February.”
“We want each and every guest to feel loved and supported. Night To Shine is, at the heart of it, a celebration of God’s love for people with special needs.”
In a Facebook post, Cornerstone Church thanked the 200 volunteers “who made this year’s Night to Shine such a huge success! From the planning team, to the buddies, to the food servers and parking crew, and everyone in between, we couldn’t have done it without you.”
Prior to the event, Tim Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner, NFL quarterback, and current ESPN announcer, expressed joy that Night to Shine was once again in-person.
“All around the world, individuals with special needs are going to be celebrated like they should be,” Tebow said. “We’ve been able to adapt over the last couple years but we can’t wait to be back together in person to cheer for every guest as they walk the red carpet, dance the night away with their friends, crown them as a king or queen of the prom and most importantly, tell every single one of them that their life has purpose and they are loved by us and the God of this universe.”
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Night to Shine launched in 2015 with 44 host churches and 15,000 volunteers honoring more than 7,000 kings and queens of the prom. In February 2020, 721 host churches and 215,000 volunteers came together to celebrate 110,000 honored guests with special needs. Over the past two years, Night to Shine innovated and endured through the pandemic with the first-ever virtual Night to Shine, celebrating thousands of honored guests through unique adaptations including a complete virtual video experience and socially distanced Shine Thru drive-thru events.
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