Friday, February 7 was a night to remember for approximately 90 area people with special needs. It was their “Night to Shine” — an amazing prom for them sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and hosted through the generosity of Elevation Community Church of Blanchester and donations from the community.
Each guest was greeted at the door by their assigned personal “buddy” for the evening. Nothing was forgotten as everything was carefully planned. There were limo rides, beautiful balloons decorating the hall, lots of music, a bountiful buffet, corsages and tiaras for the gals, boutonnieres and crowns for the guys, and even a stroll down the red carpet. “Rosie Red” and “Eat Mor Chickin” mascots were even spotted on the dance floor!
The parents and caregivers who brought the guests to the event were also treated as royalty. They were welcomed into an area where they could view the event, listen to live cello and guitar music, enjoy a buffet dinner and even a ten minute massage.
Two weeks prior to the event the church held a boutique offering a choice of approximately 700 formal gowns for the lady guests to choose from at no cost to them. For the girls, selecting just the right dress is part of the fun when you go to the prom. There was clothing for the gentlemen as well.
All of this was made possible by the hundreds of volunteers from the church and community by giving countless hours to make the evening a huge success. The volunteers included those who organized the event, those who assisted with the boutique, the personal “buddies”, those decorating the hall, those preparing foods, and those styling hair and applying makeup on that night as well as others I may have missed.
Most of us have experienced attending a prom, Christmas formal, or homecoming dance and it was taken for granted. For those “special” individuals attending, this was a memorable evening and certainly was their “Night to Shine.”