MIAMI COUNTY — A local church is giving area residents with special needs their very own night to shine.
On Feb. 10, Troy Christian Church will host a “Night to Shine,” simultaneously with more than 350 churches around the world from 6-9 p.m.
“Night to Shine,” is the name of the Tim Tebow Foundation initiative that provides a prom night for special needs individuals who may not otherwise be able to have a prom experience.
“It’s a night to celebrate life” said Mark Messmore, pastor of Troy Christian Church, who heard about the event from friends at a church in southwest Indiana who hosted a “Night to Shine” prom last year.
This will be the first year that Troy Christian Church is hosting this event, and Pastor Messmore said he believes that Troy Christian Church is the only organization hosting “Night to Shine” in the area.
Troy Christian Church was approved by the Tim Tebow Foundation in November, but have been planning the prom since September.
“We are wanting them to have the best night of their lives, and give them an unforgettable prom night, ” Messmore said.
Any persons with special needs who is older than 14 years old is invited to the prom for free, and Troy Christian Church is already working with Riverside of Miami County and many different churches in the area to get as many special needs individuals as possible to attend the event.
The special evening will begin with a limousine ride to the church for those wishing for the experience. Once at the prom, attendees will enjoy games, dancing, a catered meal, flowers for keeping — and even the paparazzi, Messmore said.
As too dress, Messmore said there is not formal requirement for a tux, but nicer dress clothes are encouraged, at the prom there will also be a shoe shining station and a makeup touch-up station to keep the everyone looking fabulous all night.
In order to provide all of these experiences, the Tim Tebow Foundation has given Troy Christian Church a grant of $2,500. However, organizers are also reaching out to local businesses for donations and sponsorships.
Troy Christian Church will rely on many volunteers to make the prom a success, Messmore said. They will need volunteers to facilitating parking, to set up and tear down decorations, people to help out with flowers, volunteers with medical and security backgrounds to ensure safety, and photographers and videographers to be the “paparazzi,” but also make sure the night is memorable.
They especially need people to be “buddies” for the prom attendants, who will be there as support to make sure they are having fun, but also to help them with anything they might need during the course of the evening.
Donations for a “Night to Shine” can be made to the Troy Christian Church, with the check’s memo stating the money is to be used for the prom, and Pastor Messmore said that if there is any excess money left over from the prom it will be donated back to the Tim Tebow Foundation, and remain separate from the church’s fund raising initiatives. Those interested in donating or volunteering, or seeking to attend the event, can contact Troy Christian Church at (937) 335-8731.
Elizabeth Schmitt is a student at the University of Cincinnati and an intern for the Troy Daily News and Piqua Daily Call.