A Night To Shine

COLUMBUS – A national event for special needs individuals made its debut in Columbus.

Night To Shine, a prom night experience for those with specials needs, was held at the 1C Church Sanctuary Friday night.

The event is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, and nearly 500 churches around the world participate.

Every guest of Night to Shine entered on a red carpet, complete with a warm welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi.

Event Organizer Amber Stary says all the guests are treated like royalty.

“They all get crowned king and queen and they all get to walk the red carpet, which is a lot of fun to watch. Now they’re in there partying.”

Stary estimates more than 450 people showed up to the dance, which is more than she was expecting when she first came up with the idea.

“Knowing that there needs to be something like this in our community because we have so many individuals with special needs. It was just a passion of mine.” Stary says.

Guests received the royal treatment, including hair and makeup stations, limousine rids, a catered dinner, karaoke, photos, and a dance floor.

Coordinator Megan Johnson says all of the planning was worth it.

“They are having a great time dancing and you can just tell they feel so good about themselves and that makes all the months of planning and all the late nights doing the organizational stuff. Like I don’t event care, I’ll do that a hundred times over just to see those smiles.”

Several local businesses and organizations donated to the event including Columbus Community Hospital Pediatric Clinic, Family First Dental, Pizza Ranch and Gaver Tire.

Stary says the dance will be held every year, due to public outreach and joy it gives the community.