Night to Shine brings residents from across areaBy BETH BUNCH,
About 180 volunteers and prom guests from Hattiesburg and the surrounding area have registered for the Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. The event, hosted at Temple Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, is set from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9.
Activities get underway at 6 p.m. when prom guests arrive and check in. They then walk the red carpet and begin activities such as limo ride, karaoke, hair/makeup, shoe shines, food and dance. At 7:30 p.m. all guests are crowned on the dance floor, which is described as a big event for guests.
Temple Baptist was one of more than 540 churches around the world to host the event both last year and this year.
A Night to Shine is described as an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs, ages 14 and older. This worldwide movement On one night, Feb. 9, more than 540 churches from around the world will come together to host Night to Shine for approximately 90,000 honored guests through the support of 175,000 volunteers!
The prom will take place in all 50 states and 10 countries around the world and the numbers continue to grow.
"We are thrilled that Temple Baptist Church has been selected to host Night to Shine again this year," said Kelli Brent, children's director.
Four other Mississippi churches will also be hosting Night to Shine events – Broadmoor Baptist in Madison, Hillcrest Baptist in New Albany, Longview Point Baptist in Hernando and Woolmarket Baptist in Biloxi.
Every guest of Night to Shine enters this complimentary event on a red carpet complete with a warm welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi. Once inside, guests receive the royal treatment, including hair and makeup stations, shoe shining areas, limousine rides, corsages and boutonnieres, a catered dinner, karaoke, prom favors for each honored guest and, of course, a dance floor… all leading up to the moment when each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom.
"We are honored to be able to work with so many churches across the county and around the world to impact the lives of people with special needs," said Erik Dellenback, executive director of the Tim Tebow Foundation.
Cindy Pennington, director of the Hub City’s Arc (Association for the Rights of Citizens with Disabilities) is super excited about the event, especially after the ARC was feted with its own special prom this past year with the help of Volunteer Hattiesburg, the United Way and Junior Auxiliary, as well as a number of volunteers.
“A name like Tim Tebow certainly gets the attention of the community, and it will serve as another way for Temple Baptist Church and the City of Hattiesburg to show love and acceptance of individuals with disabilities,” Pennington said. “Our community will certainly be blessed by Tim Tebow, the resources he provides for such an event, his personal testimony and his recognition of the ‘least of these.’ But the biggest blessings that you will receive at Night to Shine will actually come from the participants with disabilities as you witness their joy and love of life. It will leave you with no doubt that there are angels among us. And, it might teach you a new dance move!”
A respite lounge will be available for caregivers and parents.
For more information on Night to Shine visit tbclife.net/events. For more information on the worldwide movement of Night to Shine, http://bit.ly/2BK9U4d.