Despite winter weather and 50 mph winds that destroyed a welcome tent at Cross Creek Church in Palmyra, local contractors and event volunteers braved the cold to build a wooden version in less than eight hours.
They finished minutes before the first guest arrived to the Tim Tebow Foundation’s fifth annual Night to Shine. This prom hosted 150 guests for a night of dancing, karaoke and limo rides.
The Night to Shine was held simultaneously in churches worldwide. Over 200,000 volunteers from 655 churches and 35 different denominations in the U.S. and 24 countries honored more than 100,000 guests with special needs.
“Night to Shine is special, because there are so many things in our society that tear people apart and this is a night that brings people together,” said Tim Tebow, founder and chairman of the Tim Tebow Foundation. “We are all created in God’s image, and there is a reason and a purpose for each our lives. We are all kings and queens in God’s eyes.”
This was Cross Creek’s first year to host the event.
“We could not have done this without the outpouring of support from sponsors, donors and volunteers,” said Linda Prince, event coordinator. “We have a big heart for this community of individuals, and now we see that a lot of other people do as well.”
Night to Shine united a community of 40 sponsors and over 440 volunteers in roles such as food service, dance team, photographers, makeup artists, red carpet paparazzi, decorations and coat check attendants. Each guest was assigned to a buddy for the night, and crowned as king or queen of the prom. The evening ended with a balloon drop from the apex of the ballroom lit by chandelier and twinkling lights.
The Tim Tebow Foundation is launching a new ministry to support churches in creating or enhancing special needs ministries to serve these guests and their families year-round. Cross Creek serves 50 adult individuals with special needs once a month at its Friendship ministry.