In 2014, the Tim Tebow Foundation started Night to Shine—an extravagant prom night experience, hosted by churches around the world, that celebrates individuals with special needs, ages 14 and up. Now this remarkable event comes to the Bayou Region, as Thibodaux Family Church will join over 500 other churches and host the prom night at their facility on February 8.
“There was just a desire to reach a segment of our community that we really had not reached at this point,” said Duane Bland, pastor at Thibodaux Family Church. “So this is kind of our desire to do that, and here we are.”
After the honored guests arrive at the church, they will have the choice of getting done up to the nines: ladies get treated to makeup and a hair touch-up and the gentlemen can also get their hair touched up as well as a shoe shine.
Following the preparations, the participants will walk down the red carpet and be celebrated by a cheer squad and photographed by professional photographers.
The fun will then continue with a DJ providing music for the prom-goers, a food tent containing various foods catered by local businesses, karaoke, limo rides around the neighborhood and more. A camera crew from HTV 10 will capture all of the exciting moments from the event as well.
All of this was made possible because of the strong support and backing by the local community and the 240 people volunteering that night.
“Many local businesses have stepped up both financially and foodwise. Civic groups that work in the community, their people have participated with us,” Bland said. “It really is a big community outreach.”
During the high point of the night, each of the 140 registered guests—whose age range is 14 to 75—will be crowned king or queen and watch a pre-recorded message from Tim Tebow himself.
“When you put the participants and the volunteers together, plus the caretakers and the parents—for those who can make it—it’s going to be a really nice group of people that are going to be on the grounds,” Bland said.
This year’s registration to be a guest or volunteer has closed, but donations are still welcome, as Thibodaux Family Church hopes the success of this year’s event will allow them to apply to host the prom night again. Donations can be made at thibodauxfamilychurch.nighttoshine.com.
“Our main objective in accomplishing something to fulfill the vision of the Tim Tebow Foundation, which is that every person needs to know that they’re important in the eyes of God,” Bland said. •