The Oscars had nothing on Friday night’s Night to Shine event at Arrowhead Church.
Events such as this celebration gives those with special needs ages 14 and over special recognition.
Arrowhead Church served as the Lakeway Area’s site for the Night to Shine this year for the first time. The church was one of 721 churches worldwide, including 15 churches in Tennessee, to celebrate with 115,000 guests. Throughout the world, the event was supported by 215,000 volunteers in all 50 states and 34 countries.
Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, the event featured everything associated with a high school prom, including food, dancing, limousine rides, make-up, flowers, tiaras and crowns. It is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for special needs people.
Sue Petruccelli of Caregivers of Tennessee said that six persons from her organization came to the event from the Greeneville area.
“The Night to Shine is a huge organization,” Petruccelli said. “This is the first Night to Shine event I’ve been to. There are other proms that take place in churches.”
“Patty and I are ambassadors for our company,” Petruccelli said.
Lisa Biery is the connections director at Arrowhead Church.
“We had a partner of our church, Don Smith, who wanted to see this happen here,” Biery said. “He asked us to partner with him, so that’s how we are doing it.”
Biery said that six months of planning went into the Night to Shine event.
“The funding for this event comes from the sponsors,” Biery said. “Our partner, Don Smith, was the main sponsor. He had a vision to see this happen in Morristown.
Tim Tebow, the former University of Florida and Denver Bronco quarterback, has a vision for special needs people to have their Night to Shine, including walking the red carpet and those additional activities to make these persons feel special.
“We have hair, makeup, shoe shining, (flowers) and corsages, the whole nine yards,” Biery said.
Persons with those attending the Night to Shine had to pass background checks before being able to go onto the dance floor.
Dave Griffin, a limousine driver with Chariots of Hire in Knoxville, said that this was the first time he had driven in an event of this kind.
“We’re giving them the red carpet treatment,” Griffin said. “We’re transporting them around the parking lot a few times and then let them off. I’m having a good time.”
The former University of Florida and NFL quarterback appeared via video as the kings and queens were crowned, which included all in attendance.