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By Becky Maxedon
What made Feb. 9 so special in Lake Havasu City for more than 130 people in the area?
It was the “Night to Shine.”
“Night to Shine” is a prom night experience for people with special needs that was started in 2014 by the Tim Tebow Foundation.
According to the website, the Tim Tebow Foundation “exists to bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.”
Tebow is a former Heisman-winning football player who played professionally for the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars.
No detail is left to chance for this special event that is made possible by volunteers and hosts. “Night to Shine” takes place on the Friday before Valentine’s Day each year, sponsored by churches around the world.
This year’s local “Night to Shine” was hosted by Calvary Baptist Church.
Local event coordinator Amber Smith said, “We are here to make all of our guests feel valuable and know they are loved and created in God’s image, and they have value and purpose. We want to make them feel special and love them and serve them as best we can.
“We have red carpet, limo rides, dancing, karaoke, dinner catered by a bunch of local restaurants in Havasu. Sensory rooms. Lots of fun stuff for our guests all night,” she said.
Among the more than 400 volunteers was Ronda Standsberry who assisted with makeup for the guests.
This was Standsberry’s third “Night to Shine” event.
“I love to interact with all the members. I love to come and see everyone smile. It’s something they look forward to every year. It’s been two years since we had a venue, so we’re really excited. Everyone’s looking forward to it and everyone is going to be so beautiful,” she said.
Ashleigh Harris, also providing makeup assistance to guests participated in her first “Night to Shine.”
“I’m just so excited about the smiles and being able to interact with everybody. It’s such a special event and I’m just happy to be here,” Harris said.
Smith added that volunteers served in a variety of roles at the event.
“We have people doing registration, in the parking lots. People serving food. People cheering on the red carpet and in the karaoke room. We have security and medical staff. People in the sensory room, dancing …” she said.
Smith said in addition to those volunteer opportunities, there are Buddy volunteers.
“A buddy is someone who is paired with a guest and they are their buddy and will stay with them all night and do whatever they want to do. They’ll do the red carpet with them, they’ll dance with them the whole night,” she said.
Cindy Keasey, of the Clothes Closet in Lake Havasu City, provided suits and prom dresses to anyone attending if needed.
All guests received either crowns or tiaras at the event.
According to Smith, there were prom guests from throughout the Lake Havasu area.
Special guests included Lake Havasu City Mayor Cal Sheehy and city council member Nancy Campbell.
For more information about “Night to Shine,” visit timtebowfoundation.org.