Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 20, 2018

Night to Shine ‘exceeds expectations’

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL | Feb 14, 2018
Ann Williams, left, and Genie Davis were organizers for the first Night to Shine event in Washington.

With both guests of honor and volunteers beaming and laughing all through the first of what organizer Ann Williams believes will be many Night to Shine events, Williams calls the event a complete success.

She said the attractions at the event, from the meal to the karaoke to the face painting, all went off very well. She said the biggest hit of the night was the crowning, where each guest received either a crown or a tiara. Williams said the guests wore the headwear with pride. She said many people were in tears during the event.

“It excceded our expectations,” she said. “We had 72 guests out of 87 registered with some not able to be there due to weather or illness, and we had about 190 volunteers. It just went great.”

Williams said that the limousine rides had gone well, with one guest taking as many as three rides.

With all the excitement from the event, Williams said that Night to Shine will “absolutely” be back next year.

“People were coming up and saying they could not wait for next year,” Williams said. “Ron See was our police officer in uniform and he told us he would be back next year but in a diffferent role because he wanted to have fun and dance.”

For the first time this year Washington joined more than 450 churches throughout the world to host Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. According to a news release, Night to Shine is an “unforgettable prom night experience, centered in God’s love, for people with special needs, ages 14 and older.” The event will occur simultaneously in all 50 states and 15 countries.

When Night to Shine was launched in 2015, it had 44 host churches and 15,000 volunteers, along with more than 7,000 kings and queens of the prom.

In February 2017, there were 375 host churches and 150,000 volunteers, along with 75,000 honored guests.

“Night to Shine is an incredible night — lights, music, limos, dancing, and best of all each honored guest being crowned a king or queen of the prom,” said Erik Dellenback, executive director of the Tim Tebow Foundation. “I love what one pastor shared with me. He said, ‘We love this event because it smells like Jesus.’ We continue to be amazed by how God has grown this event into a worldwide movement, celebrating people with special needs.”

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