Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, takes place at two locations in B.C. this year, Chilliwack and Surrey. (Tim Tebow Foundation)

WATCH: Giving the special needs community a Night to Shine

Global event offers people with special needs a full prom experience in Chilliwack, Surrey

It will be a full prom experience for teens and adults with special needs — and it’s completely free.

Night to Shine is an international event where people with special needs, aged 14 and older, get treated like queens and kings for a night, complete with a red carpet entrance, limousine rides, music, food, and a crowning ceremony.

It is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, a faith-based organization founded by the former NFL quarterback and current pro baseball player with the New York Mets.

Taking place globally on Feb. 8, Night to Shine will be held at two locations in B.C. — Chilliwack and Surrey. People throughout the province are welcome to attend Night to Shine, you do not need to reside in Chilliwack or Surrey.

“It’s an open invitation. Whoever wants to come is welcome to. We’re capping it around 75 guests,” says organizer Erin Hall of First Avenue Christian Assembly in Chilliwack.

Once inside, guests receive the royal treatment. There will be hair and makeup stations, shoe-shining areas, corsages and boutonnieres, a catered dinner, karaoke, prom favours for each honoured guest, and of course a dance floor.

Every honoured guest can bring up to two caregivers, parents or friends with them.

And the night wouldn’t be possible without a slew of volunteers.

“Every guest is paired with a volunteer that we call a buddy… somebody to celebrate them, who dotes on them all night. They’ll hold your food, they’ll hold your bag, they’ll take pictures of you. If people don’t have guests coming with them, it serves as their guest essentially so no one is by themselves,” says Hall.

Volunteer duties include being buddies for the honoured guests, photography, food prep, and helping out with activities such as karaoke and dancing.

“There’s a spot for everyone,” says Hall.

Night to Shine is a free event for all guests thanks to funding by the Tim Tebow Foundation, host churches, and sponsors.

“It’s kind of a blend of community, foundation and church which, to me, is so beautiful and the unity behind that is incredible,” she says.

READ MORE: Special ‘Night to Shine’ prom planned in Surrey sponsored by Tim Tebow Foundation

“It is not about my foundation or the churches themselves, but about communities coming together to love and celebrate people with differences,” says Tim Tebow. “Every town, every village, every state, every country needs a Night to Shine for their special needs community — a chance to be part of something significant and life-changing… and to be blessed in the process.”

Doors will open at 6 p.m. When guests arrive at Night to Shine they’ll enter the church along a full red carpet.

“There’s a whole team of volunteers cheering them on holding ‘You are awesome’ signs. It’s so emotional and very overwhelming,” says Hall. “There’s also a sensory friendly entrance if that’s too much for someone.”

Once inside, guests register and are paired with their buddy. In the lobby, guests can get their hair and makeup done plus their shoes shined.

Guests then walk down the “encouragement hallway” to the gym where the main event will take place. Near the end of the evening, each honoured guest will be crowned as a king or a queen. Everyone gets a crown.

There will be a full sensory room for individuals who need to take a break from all the excitement. And also being offered that night is a respite room exclusively for caregivers and parents to chat with others who take care of people with special needs.

This year, Night to Shine is taking place in more than 650 host churches world wide. Last year, 90,000 people with special needs were celebrated and 175,000 volunteers took part.

Hall went to last year’s event in Surrey with others from her church. After coming away from it, they all agreed Chilliwack needed to host the event in 2019.

“I was so overwhelmed to see so many people and so many vendors and organizations pool together. It became so much more than just a church throwing an event,” she says. “(It’s) anyone who’s touched by the special needs community celebrating them and encouraging them. To have a night totally tailored to you, from safety to food to lighting — there’s so much that goes into it.”

“People can give, or if they’re the praying kind, they can pray. We really just want everyone to feel loved,” she adds.

Night to Shine takes place Friday, Feb. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m.

In Chilliwack, it’s at at First Avenue Christian Assembly (46510 First Ave., Chilliwack). To register as a guest, volunteer, or to make a donation, go to firstave.org/night-to-shine. Guests can register up to Jan. 30. Deadline for volunteer registration is Jan. 20 due to criminal record checks and paperwork that need to be completed. For more, email info@firstave.org or call 604-792-0794.

In Surrey, Night to Shine is at Horizon Church (15100 66A Ave., Surrey). To register as a guest, volunteer, or to help sponsor the event, go to nighttoshine.ca.


 

@PhotoJennalism
jenna.hauck@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Coast home-grown ice talent Carly Edwards from Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert takes centre ice on TV competition show Battle of the Blades Wednesday nights at 8 p.m., with her partner NHL partner Chris Versteeg. (Photo supplied)
Local figure skater spotlights on TV show’s center ice

Prince Rupert’s Carly Edwards is featured on TV competition show Battle of the Blades

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
PHOTOS: Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

B.C. Ferries is still providing ferry service between Tsawwassen and Victoria, 60 years later. (File - Black Press Media)
Ferry sailings cancelled for Oct. 29th and 30th

BC Ferries announces technical difficulties on Northern Expedition

Technical difficulties with the recording and broadcast of the Oct. 26 Prince Rupert City Council meeting mean residents were unable to watch on TV or online happenings in the meeting. (The Northern View file photo)
Technical difficulties leave public unable to access City Council meeting

Summary brief of Prince Rupert City Council meeting

Requests for proposals for the first stage of a water treatment facility project have been issued by the City of Prince Rupert on Oct. 26. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Water treatment facility project in Prince Rupert enters first phase

Prince Rupert seeks proposals for assessment of water quality supply and treatment options

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Most Read