By Nicole Matheson
The stars were out Friday evening as 721 churches in 34 countries around the world brought a memorable prom experience to special needs individuals 14 and older. The simultaneous worldwide event rolled out the red carpet and tripped the light fandango for more than 115,000 honored guests providing an experience of a lifetime.
Churches across the world were galvanized by the Tim Tebow Foundation to bring the Night To Shine to life. All the participating faiths placed ideologies into practice as more than 215,000 volunteers and organizers helped crown all the special guests as prom kings and queens.
And Lake Havasu City’s Calvary Baptist Church was one of the sites participating in the special night.
Amber Smith, of Calvary Baptist Church, said, “Our community has been amazing, supporting this and donating to it. I think our town is great. I would say the majority of this stuff, like all our decorations and food are completely donated, which is amazing.”
A Night To Shine
Calvary Baptist Church was assisted by 440 local volunteers that labored both on site and behind the scenes to set-up and work the event. What was promised in word did not disappoint as guests began to arrive at 5 p.m. to work on their personal appearance for the evening. Hair and make-up rooms were made available, along with experienced assistance from volunteers who helped the guests with their dream look.
More than 100 guests arrived in fine fashion, some even modeling complimentary dresses and suits. Earlier in January, guests were invited to drop by the Calvary Church Sweetwater Campus to pick out an outfit for the event.
Roll Out The Red Carpet
The kings and queens were delivered in style, riding in limousines and classic cars to the decorated entrance. As the door opened, they stepped onto a red carpet, where they were met with paparazzi taking pictures and cheering for each guest by name. At the registration table a boutonniere or corsage were given to them.
Guests receive a catered dinner from 6:30 to 8 p.m., to keep them energized for the royal treatment they experienced. At 8:15, the pastor’s gospel message was shared and a special video from Tim Tebow was shown.
Dancing The Night Away
The dance floor was open for business along with access to a stocked game room, a karaoke room and a sensory room, providing some memories with friends that they won’t soon forget. The evening wasn’t complete until each guest was crowned prom king and queen, an emotional moment that brought smiles and tears to the royal attendees and volunteers.
Victoria Petersen said that the dancing was her favorite part, and upon receiving her tiara she said, “It was really cool, I’ve never gotten one before.” She wasn’t alone, guest Amorcita Abad also had fun dancing with her fiance Thomas Gooley.
The guests did not leave empty handed. Each king and queen received a special gift bag to take home.
The Tim Tebow Foundation committed close to $3.5 million in funds for churches hosting the events. The memorable event had been planned for four years.