A Prom Night For Very Special Guests Set For Feb. 8 in Moundsville

Night to Shine Event Set For Feb. 8 in Moundsville

Prom season is typically observed in April and May each year. But there is nothing typical about the annual Night to Shine prom, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, set for next month in Moundsville.

The Night to Shine is a free prom night event for people with special needs. This year it will be held on Feb. 8 at the Moundsville Training Center at the former state pententary. Bowman United Methodist Church will host the event that provides the red carpet treatment to all those who attend.

“Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love for people with special needs, ages 14 and up,” said Janet Allen, spokeswoman. “Last year our oldest was 81 years old.”

Allen explained that the event is held worldwide, all on the same night and is expected to serve more than 100,000 people with special needs through 200,000 volunteers and 700 host churches in all 50 states and 20 countries around the world.

“We feel honored that we have once again been approved to host this spectacular event,” Allen said.

Every guest of Night to Shine enters the complementary event on a red carpet complete with a warm welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi. Once inside, guests receive the royal treatment, including limousine rides, professional photography, hair and makeup stations, corsages and boutonnieres, shoe shines, a catered dinner, a karaoke room, a Respite Room for parents and caretakers, a goody bag for each guest to take home, DJ, and of course a dance floor.

All of this leads up to the moment when each guest is crowned a king or queen of the prom.

Last year, the local church hosted 159 guests from all over the tri-state area.

“We also provide for our volunteers, which includes local police officers who donate their time to ensure the safety of all guests and volunteers. Last year that number was over 300 volunteers and we are going to need more volunteers this year as this event continues to grow,” Allen said.

Last year included volunteers from local high schools, college students and various community and church groups who volunteer as buddies for the guests. Each guest is assigned a buddy and spends the evening assisting them, having dinner together, dancing and taking them from attraction to attraction.

The event would not be possible without the volunteers. New and returning volunteers are welcome. Prior to the event, there is a one-time training session for volunteers.

Any individuals or groups interested in volunteering — ages 14 and up — it is mandatory to attend one training session. Trainings will be held at the First Christian Church, 1200 Third St., Moundsville. All paperwork will be filled out at the training dates as well as a background check.

Training dates and times are:

∫ 2 p.m. today;

∫ 2 p.m. Jan. 20 or 27;

∫ 6 p.m. Jan. 16 or 30.

“As you can imagine, it is quite the endeavor to organize and make this event come to life and create an unforgettable prom night experience for our guest. Since this event is provided free to our guest we rely on donations from community and businesses to make this event happen,” Allen said.

While the event is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, each year more and more proms are held throughout the country and around the world, so the foundation has reduced the amount of funding they can provide with the hope that by the fifth year, each prom will be self-sustained financially.

Allen is working to make this year’s Night to Shine to be the best prom ever.

Any person or business wishing to donate to the event may do so by a check payable to Ohio Valley Night to Shine and mail to Marshall County Federal Credit Union, 910 Third St., Moundsville, WV 26041.

“We certainly appreciate any donations you can offer, as they will go directly toward making the night truly memorable for the amazing community of people with special needs,” Allen said.

For more information or a guest packet, call Kristi Crawford at 304-639-6573, Janet Allen at 304-650-4126 or Lori Mason at 304-238-8015 for more information.

Also check on Facebook under Ohio Valley Night Shine as well as Ohio Valley Night to Shine on YouTube with a wonderful video by Jay Morris.

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