ST. JOHNS, Mich. (WLNS) – It was an unforgettable prom night experience for people with special needs at this year’s Night to Shine event.
This event was sponsored by NFL football star, Tim Tebow. 75 people and their guests received the royal treatment all at no cost.
In their beautiful gowns and tailored suits, dozens could be seen getting down on the dance floor for a night to remember.
“I’m having fun. I’ve been doing the chicken dance and all of that,” guest Steven Terrell said.
This event is part of a worldwide mission to connect with and serve people with special needs.
No More Sidelines, a nonprofit committed to helping children and young adults with special needs, teamed up with Northpointe Community Church in DeWitt to host the dance.
“We want to provide the same opportunities that their typically developing peer have and provide it to them in a very integrative way,” Scott Koenigsknecht of No More Sidelines said.
“Today we started at 10 a.m. setting everything up so we’ve been here for a while but it’s been a lot of fun,” Silvia Jarvis of Northpointe Community Church said.
Night to Shine is a free event and every honored guest received a crown or tiara, and more.
“There was a dress boutique of dresses that were donated for the girls to go and try on back in December. They had a beauty thing so people could go get their hair, makeup, and nails done. They offered all of that and it was just an opportunity for them to feel special,” volunteer and special education teacher Kacy Goeckel said.
Everyone was a king and a queen for the night and as guests enjoyed food, dancing, and taking pictures, a few royal guests from Disney made a special appearance.
“I got pretty surprised that the Disney princesses came. When they played Let It Go I took some pictures with Elsa, Belle, and Tiana,” guest Josey Kingsbury said.
For many, this night represents love and acceptance.
“Everyone is unique and created in the image of God and deserves to be celebrated,” Jenny Koenigsknecht with No More Sidelines said.
“They need to know that God loves them so much just like regular human beings,” Cooper Koenigsknecht said.