A Night to Shine Presented by Tim Tebow Foundation

Published 4:05 pm Monday, February 12, 2024

By Sarah Brown – Managing Editor

A Night to Shine took place on Friday February 9th at Unity Baptist Church in Sylvester.

We spoke with Nicole Braswell from The Opal Project to get a background on the Night to Shine event and what it is all about.

Background:

Night to Shine began 10 years ago with the Tim Tebow Foundation and is a prom-like event dedicated to teens and adults with special needs. It happens annually worldwide in over 50 countries! This was our second year hosting with Unity Baptist Church in Sylvester. It is a wonderful occasion where we get to come together as a community and celebrate God’s love for each and every one of our honored guests.

This years event has about 70 VIP guests and almost 300 volunteers attend.  They start out the night with a red carpet experience where each guest is announced and introduced. The red carpet is lined with “paparazzi” and “fans” that cheer them on as they enter the dance floor area. We also had limousine rides, a wheelchair accessible party bus, hot air balloon rides, karaoke, and so much more! All of these experiences are sponsored by donations from the community and the Tim Tebow Foundation. This is a completely complementary event for all individuals with special needs ages 14 and up!  Before the night is over, every VIP guest is crowned King or Queen of the prom! So many of our volunteers shared with us how impactful this night is to them, to see the pure joy on the faces of every guest! It is truly a life changing event and if you have never been a part of Night to Shine I strongly encourage you to check it out! We are so blessed to have a small part in this movement to celebrate inclusion and we cannot wait to do it again next year!

There are many individuals both attendees and volunteers that go to this event each year. This year Crisp County Sheriff’s Office, PIO Haley Wade attended as a volunteer/buddy for Cop Sadie.

Haley said that the event, “Really made marks on the lives of everyone who attended. I am so grateful I done it.”