First Christian Church Ministries (FCCM), in conjunction with the Tim Tebow Foundation, is once again offering an unforgettable Night to Shine Prom on February 12 for those with special needs.
The event will be held from 6 – 9 p.m. and is for people with special needs, ages 16 and older.
Tracy Burkhart, media coordinator with FCCM, said last year was a great first year for the event.
“Last year was the first year the Tim Tebow Foundation put the event on. They reached out to mega churches and we jumped on it, realizing what a good outreach it would be,” she said. “There were 44 churches that participated last year in several countries. This year, there are 100 churches and we decided to reapply again.”
She added, “Last year was phenomenal. We planned for 100 guests and ended up with 125 and Tim Tebow showed up. We were really excited that he stopped by to visit.”
Burkhart said People Magazine featured pictures from the Night to Shine Prom last year, with most of the pictures featured from FCCM’s event.
She added that this year, they are accepting 250 guests. FCCM is still looking for both participants and volunteers.
“Anyone 16 and older can volunteer. You have to register on our website by January 31 and go through a background check,” Burkhart said. “I haven’t heard from anyone who said they were not truly blessed by volunteering last year.”
Burkhart added that volunteers fulfill the needs of many different committees during the night, including being a personal buddy to one of the participants.
“The buddy is someone who can help them navigate around the building and someone to encourage them to have fun. It allows their chaperones a night off, whether it’s a parent or guardian,” she said. “The chaperones are invited to a room to watch a movie and relax during the event. Sometimes (caretakers) need a stress free time to relax, so we wanted to give that to them too.”
Other volunteers, such as Dawn Chultz, helped with applying makeup last year.
“I just wanted to help,” Chultz said about volunteering last year. “The participants we had last year were so cheery, happy and grateful. They just wanted to sit and let you pamper them, and they set all their worries aside for the night. This isn’t something they can do very often or ever, so to be able to provide them this experience was a nice feeling and that was the goal. By the end of the night, we were already thinking about how to make it better this year.”
Chultz noted that last year they provided suits and prom dresses to the guests through donations provided by members of the church.
“We are accepting donations again this year of modest prom dresses, men’s suits and ties, shoes and accessories. We will take anything to help them get an outfit together,” she said. “Donations should be dropped off by Monday, February 1.”
Burkhart noted that the event includes limo rides, karaoke, shoe shining, hair and makeup, dancing, hors d’oeuvres, red carpet entrances with photo opportunities, crowns and tiaras, corsages and buttoners, and gift bags.
In sponsoring the event, the Tim Tebow Foundation provides each host church with up to $8,500 in addition to a detailed prom manual and prom kit full of special decorations and gifts for guests.
In the overview for the Night to Shine Prom, Tim Tebow said, “We want to show each and every guest that they are special and they are loved. This is a night to celebrate who they are as a child of God, and to remind them that in God’s eye, we are all kings and queens.”
To volunteer or become a guest, visit www.fccministries.com and find the link to register. Volunteers must register by Sunday, January 31.