Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Special needs prom will go on at local church despite pandemic

WACO, TX – A local prom for those with special needs put on at 500 churches worldwide annually and simultaneously by the foundation of former pro athlete Tim Tebow will go on in February despite COVID-19 with some changes to ensure all partygoers stay safe.

The decision to have A Night to Shine in 2021 was welcome news to Crestview Church of Christ in Waco, which has chosen for the last four years to host the local party, as well as to the organizers, Heart of Central Texas Independent Living and Elite Therapy Center, whose owner is Kari McKown.

“We were not sure what this event would look like this year but of course the Tim Tebow Foundation has found a way to make it a success even in the midst of a pandemic,” McKown said.

The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb.12.

Since 2018 Crestview Church of Christ has opened its doors and hearts to the special needs community ages 14 and older for the prom.

It’s a cause near and dear to the church’s heart.

“Crestview is so excited to host Night to Shine for our fourth year,” said Children’s Minister Dayna Bell.

“Night to Shine is one of Crestview’s favorite events. We love to see how this event blesses all those involved and how it brings our community together.”

In past years participants dressed up in their best prom attire including beautiful gowns, tuxedos and suits and then were treated to a night of food, shoe-shining, make-up and hair and entertainment including karaoke and dancing.

One of the highlights for the prom-goers is always a limo ride.

They step out of limos onto a long red carpet outside, which is lined with everyone from cheerleaders to bands and lots of cheering fans.

This year, the red carpet will still be there, but from a distance.

“We will start the evening with a shine-on virtual red carpet experience where all of our kings and queens will be invited to drive-thru at Crestview Church of Christ from 4 to 6 p.m.,” McKown said.

“We will have a long line of red carpet from dancers to cheerleaders to superheroes to people in costumes and mascots and a band all ready to celebrate our kings and queens and make them feel like an honored special guest for a night.”

The guests will also pick up a box at the drive-thru which will include boutonnieres and corsages and the ever-so coveted crown or tiara.

At every Night to Shine every prom-goer is crowned king or queen of the prom.

They’ll be crowned again this year, only at home.

“The kings and queens will head home and be invited to watch a live stream event of Tim Tebow hosting the virtual Night to Shine,” McKown said.

“So, they will be dancing and celebrating and even being crowned in the comfort and safety of their own home.”

Registration has just opened for the event which will cap participants at 175 kings and queens.

They church is also in need of volunteers.

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