More than 200 Central Georgia teens will hit the dance floor for a special night of fun. "A Night to Shine" is an annual event sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation to give people with special needs an unforgettable prom experience.
Each year, Ashley Blann sets out to throw one big prom party. “We started three years ago and it's grown exponentially since then,” said Blann.
But the red carpet event isn't just about the glitz and the glam. It's about giving everyone a chance to feel included. “I think we are equally, if not more, blessed than the guests who are coming,” said Blann. “I'm very passionate and compassionate about people, especially people with special needs. They are kind of a people group that gets ignored or just forgotten about.”
"A Night to Shine" is a special needs prom for teens across Central Georgia. Each teen will strut their stuff on the red carpet, be crowned prom king or queen, and dance the night away. “Nobody has to go out of their way to buy a dress, to get a tux, or to get flowers. We take care of all that,” said Blann.
18-year-old Hamilton Darden has never missed a dance. “I get to see some of my friends that I don't get to see. I'm home-schooled, so I get to see some of my friends that are not at home school with me,” said Darden.
Like hundreds of others, Darden looks forward to the night every year for a chance to feel like a star and shine on. “This is the night that you get to shine,” said Blann. “It's not about us, it’s about you.”
According to the foundation website, more than 500 churches around the world are hosting "Night to Shine" events.