It will be a night of magic, glamour and dancing the night away during the second annual Night to Shine at Grace Community Church.
And if you are looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity, the church is still accepting applications.
Last year, Grace joined the ranks of hundreds of churches across the world to give special needs persons ages 14 and up “an unforgettable prom night experience, center on God’s love.” The event is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation.
Amanda Fuller, a Grace church member part of the event team, told The McDowell News on Thursday the guest count so far was exactly 224, which is almost double from last year.
“We are very excited about that,” she said. “The whole idea behind it is the Friday before Valentine’s Day churches all over the world come together for one night to celebrate God’s love for those with special needs.”
Guests will arrive to the church on Friday at 6 p.m. where they will strut down a red carpet complete with paparazzi, served a plated dinner, take their turn at karaoke and dance the night away with music provided by Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band.
“We also have complimentary hair and makeup, and shoe shine stations. They will get their professional prom pictures made, and take some silly ones too at the fun photo booth,” said Fuller. “The night ends with a crowning ceremony, and a king and a queen of the prom are crowned.”
Boutonnieres and corsages are provided for each guest, plus they get paired with a volunteer for the night to act as their ‘prom date.’
“We have over 370 volunteers signed up to help, but we still need more to have enough for each individual,” said Fuller. To apply, visit graceforall.org/shine and click on the volunteer registration form. Volunteers are required to have a background check in order to participate. Training for volunteers is set for this Monday.
And just when you think they thought of everything, Grace Community Church has a special night planned for caretakers and parents during Night to Shine.
“They will have their own space to sit down and enjoy a nice meal. All the activities will be live streamed for them to watch. We will have shoulder and foot massages for them, a prayer room and a dessert and coffee room,” said Fuller. “We want to take care of the families and minister to them as well.”
The whole event is free for guests and their families. Prior to the big night, the church hosts a dress shop for the female guests who get to come in, pick out a dress and keep it as their own.
“That’s one of my favorite parts,” said Fuller. “We got some amazing feedback last year and all kinds of different stories from family members. Many of the folks in their fifties, sixties and seventies, this is their first prom. They are so appreciative. We truly want it to be a prom experience for them.”
To make a donation toward the event, visit graceforall.org. To learn more about Night to Shine, visit https://www.timtebowfoundation.org/ministries/night-to-shine.
Check out these videos of last year's event: