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New Life Church to host Night to Shine

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

New Life Church will host Night to Shine, a prom for people with special needs on Feb. 7, 2020.

However, the deadline to register is Nov. 27.

Night to Shine is sponsored nationally by the Tim Tebow Foundation, which provides access to resources to churches for the event.

“Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older at no cost to the attendee(s). New Life is excited to be a part of this worldwide movement that is uniting churches of different denominations all over the world with the common goal of celebrating people with special needs,” according to a Tim Tebow Foundation press release.

Registration can be completed at clantonnewlife.com/nighttoshine.

“As a church, New Life Church wants to bridge the gap and support our special needs community. It is important to New Life that we celebrate these beautiful individuals,” Kathryn Merritt of New Life said. “Night to Shine gives us that opportunity, during an amazingly wonderful evening that is solely focused on them. New Life Church provides a safe place for individuals with special needs to be a part of our student ministry. These beautiful students have their own classroom with teachers who are passionate about helping them grow their love toward Jesus in a way that is tailored to their learning abilities. We call this classroom, ‘STARS,’ because each of these children is a star and they deserve to shine.”

The Night to Shine event focuses on giving each attendee star treatment. Events are held on the same night around the world.

“Every guest of Night to Shine enters this complimentary event on a red carpet complete with a warm welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi. Once inside, guests receive the royal treatment, including hair and makeup stations, shoe shining areas, limousine rides, corsages and boutonnieres, a catered dinner, karaoke, prom favors, a dance floor, all leading up to the moment when each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom,” according to the release.

Merritt said the crown is also to show “they are the children of the King of Kings.”

“We feel that God has placed this dream of hosting Night to Shine on our team members hearts, so that we can celebrate the value of every life and change the narrative on how people with special needs are viewed,” Merritt said. “It is on this night, where each of our honored guests will be the kings and queens of the prom and receive the royal treatment.”

Volunteers are also needed for the event. Volunteers must pass a background check and attend event training. Cost to have the background check done is $10.25 per person.

“If you are considering volunteering, please know that New Life’s commitment is to making Night to Shine an extraordinary event for our special needs community,” Merritt said. “We are passionate about our honored guests and want to celebrate our kings and queens of prom.”

Night to Shine was hosted in 655 churches last year and the Tim Tebow Foundation anticipates having 800 partner churches this year.

“It is awe inspiring to see how God is using the Church globally to stand up and advocate for people with special needs. I truly believe that the world is coming together through Night to Shine to celebrate the love that God has for us! Every town, every village, every state, every country needs a Night to Shine for their special needs community – a chance to be a part of something significant and life-changing…and to be blessed in the process,” said Tim Tebow, founder of the Tim Tebow Foundation.

More information is available at clantonnewlife.com/nighttoshine.