LITTLE HOCKING, Ohio (WTAP) – UPDATE: 02/08/19
The Mid-Ohio Valley Night to Shine will truly be a night to remember and it could not have happened without help from the community.
Organizers expected more than 120 honored guests with each of them paired with a buddy. The 300 volunteers who made the event possible were also invited. In all, 600 people were expected to come out to Porterfield Baptist Church in Little Hocking Friday night.
Travis Burke, an honored guest, said, "I wanted to come out and hang out and enjoy the food."
Henrietta and Earl Adkins, a couple from Williamstown said they looked forward to getting on the dance floor.
"I'm going to be dancing Michael Jackson moves," Earl said.
"Me and him are going to be dancing like crazy tonight," Henrietta said.
The Tim Tebow Foundation sponsored event provides a prom night experience for people with special needs. 655 churches from around the world came together to host Night to Shine for approximately 100,000 honored guests through the support of 200,000 volunteers. The same message was felt across the board.
“It’s an exciting night to try and get people to be more aware of everybody in our community and how we can help each other," said Julie Renner, a volunteer.
“I have a nephew with special needs and the love that they have for other people it is just a token of our love for them," said Roger Heft, a volunteer.
The night was filled with memories many will probably never forget.
“It’s so important the smiles tonight sometimes these kids don’t always get the best of everything and tonight everything was about them everything was about them," said Jamie Hamrick, a volunteer.
The staff at Porterfield said they're already thinking ahead to next year.
We’re now just days away from the Mid-Ohio Valley Night to Shine and the community is putting in their all to make sure it will be a night to remember.
The event provides a prom night experience for people with special needs.
It will take place at Porterfield Baptist Church in Little Hocking on Friday.
The Tim Tebow Foundation sponsored event is made possible by volunteers throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley. Organizers say 300 volunteers have helped them out. Some say they didn’t think twice about stepping up to lend a hand.
"Night to Shine is a great event it's a wonderful opportunity to share the love of God with people in the community that might not otherwise get the same kind of opportunities,” said Peter Parker, a volunteer.
“People with special needs are just awesome and wonderful and need to have the same chance to enjoy a special formal event like this."
600 people are expected to attend. The event is not open to the public. It’s open to registered guests, parents, caretakers, and volunteers.
ORIGINAL STORY: 01/09/19
The "Night to Shine" special-needs prom event that is gaining popularity and support all over the world is making its way to the Mid-Ohio Valley.
The Warren Local School District and Porterfield Baptist Church in Little Hocking are partnering to host “Night to Shine.” It’s sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. The event provides a prom night experience to people with special needs ages 16 and older.
Porterfield will host the event on February 8 from 6-9 p.m. It will feature everything from limo rides to a red carpet entrance to a photo booth.
Larry Ryan, the director of Special Programs for Warren Local Schools, said “We have ordered crowns and tiaras just like the Tim Tebow Foundation has suggested, where they get to go home with their own crown to let them know that they truly are special.”
The event is made possible all over the world thanks to the many volunteers who give their time and effort. The same sentiment is being felt in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
“A lot of people donating their time and their gifts and talents whether it’s photographers, DJs, or people that prepare food and so it’s just amazing to see all these people come together for one night to do something different in the lives of somebody else or to touch somebody else’s life,” said Eric Leeson, an associate pastor at Porterfield.
When asked about the message of the event, Katie Dickson of Warren Local Schools said, “We’re all special, love goes a long way we can all help make somebody’s day just a little bit better in their darkest hour and as far as the participants themselves they’re just as special, there’s love out there for them and that you’re right here with us we got you, we got your back.”
“Night to Shine” events are slated for more than 30 locations in Ohio and 4 places in West Virginia.
Those who participate in the event are considered honored guests. Ryan said those who live in Wood and Washington counties and the surrounding areas are eligible to register for the event.
You can find more information about the event on the Mid-Ohio Valley Night to Shine Facebook page. That link can be found in the Related Links section of the article. You can also register to participate in the event in the link provided in the Related Links section of the article.