Night to Shine sparkles at local church

Professional photographers were on hand to capture the magic at the 2020 Night to Shine.

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Night to Shine is part of the Tim Tebow Foundation. Per their website, “Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older. This February 7, 2020, Night to Shine celebrates its sixth anniversary! On one night, 721 churches from around the world will come together to host Night to Shine for approximately 115,000 honored guests through the support of 215,000 volunteers!” Robin Cox was the local lead for Night to Shine at Unity Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) Church in Lancaster, SC for their 2nd annual participation.

Guests and their buddies walk into the dance on the red carpet.

The night started with the arrival of the guests of honor. Once checked in, a buddy was chosen to accompany each guest. Each guest wore a prom dress or a suit and Night to Shine had some donated dresses and suits available if needed. Every guest and buddy were also given a boutonniere or corsage to complete the prom experience. Then after final touches to hair, makeup, and shoe shines, everyone got to ride in a limo to the dance hall. The limos are a favorite part of the event and most took a lap around the block before dropping the guests off at the dance hall. After exiting the limo, guests and their buddies were able to walk the red carpet. Featuring an emcee introducing each guest, there was a live video feed that went to the Parent’s Room, as well as “paparazzi” cheering and taking lots of photos. Guests and their buddies then each got an official posed portrait before being turned loose on the dance floor. The guests and buddies were also served a sit-down dinner during the dance.  2020’s theme was Game Night. Featuring a photo booth, karaoke room, games, raffles, and much more, this dance is one to remember for a lifetime!

Guests and buddies tear up the dance floor at 2020’s Night to Shine. Behind the dancers, you can see the balloons suspended for a drop later in the night.

Donna Kennelly, Parent Room Lead, explained that the Parent’s Room is a place for the parents and guardians of the guests to take a break and connect with others in similar situations. With a live feed of the red carpet and dance, parents didn’t miss the special moments. “As a teacher of special needs children I love this type of event.  A friend that is on the lead team, asked last year if I would like to participate and I was so excited for the opportunity to work with them on the first event,” says Kennelly. A partial list of Parent Room sponsors includes: Harris Teeter – Sun Valley, Food Lion Lancaster, Stack’s Kitchen, Harris Teeter – Waxhaw, Queens South Grille, El Vallarta, Arby’s -Lancaster, Red Stone Movie Theatre, Carolina Chiropractic and Spinal Rehab, Restorative Bodyworks Therapy, Founders Credit Union, Driven Motos, and Chick-fil-A – Indian Land. And many more sponsors, and scores of volunteers, came together to make this Night to Shine sparkle!

Unity ARP offers a JOY Ministry, a worship service for those with special needs, so hosting a Night to Shine was a natural part of their evolution of service. The church works closely with the Lancaster and Chester County Disability Services with Night to Shine participants from Union County, NC, as well as Lancaster and Chester Counties in SC.

More information about Night to Shine can be found at:

A raffle with prizes to local businesses wait for tickets in the Parent’s Room at 2020’s Night to Shine.
Over 100 different boutonnieres and corsages were prepared and given out during 2020’s Night to Shine.
Guests and their buddies walk into the dance on the red carpet.
No prom is complete without a photo booth and funny glasses. Both were on hand at 2020’s Night to Shine.
One of the guests and her buddy take the time to write a thank you.
The dance floor was hopping to the tunes of the DJ.
Onsite hair touch-ups were done by the crew at Mane St Hair Designers in Lancaster. Debbie Crenshaw (seated right), Owner of Mane St, shared, “We enjoy doing community service and this is their Night to Shine!” when asked about how they got involved.
Guests and buddies tear up the dance floor at 2020’s Night to Shine. Behind the dancers, you can see the balloons suspended for a drop later in the night.
The Parent’s Room was furnished with a live feed, food, and raffle prizes.
Guests and Buddies get a photo taken at the entrance to the dance.
Part of the Prom Night experience includes posed photos.
Each guest and buddy walked the red carpet in full view of the paparazzi.
Dinner was served at the dance to their guests and buddies.
A few of the sponsors of 2020’s Night to Shine.
Guests and buddies write thank yous to the volunteers and sponsors.
Find more information about Night to Shine at
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