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'Night to Shine' to celebrate special needs teens in Kershaw County

Night to Shine offers a special prom night experience for people with special needs, ages 14 and older.

KERSHAW, S.C. — New Life Christian Outreach Church is hosting its second annual Night to Shine to give people with special needs a special prom night experience in Kershaw County. This year, the event will go virtual due to the pandemic.

Night to Shine is an initiative of the Tim Tebow Foundation in which churches around the country create a prom night experience for people with special needs, ages 14 and older.

Night to Shine is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, and it is a night that we do once a year," says organizer Kate Stines. "This is the 7th year that he [Tim Tebow] has hosted it, and it is a night that we bring special needs ages 14 and over to come together to celebrate them, to let them feel special, to walk the red carpet, to be crowned king and queen. It is just their night to shine.”

Stines is on her second year organizing this event, not only for Kershaw County but for whoever would like to attend. “I think it’s just so important for the community to come together to love on one another, to know that this is based on faith and that the Lord is letting them know that they might have special needs but they’re just like us.”

The pandemic has changed a few things from last year's event -- the red carpet will be a drive-thru parade and the dancing will be virtual -- but that won’t stop the ‘honored guests’ from having a great time.

“It is an incredible evening. It will just bless your heart, touch your heart in such a special way to see the smiles to know that even these volunteers are doing something just so wonderful, and it’s just full of smiles and happiness," Stines said. "Even through such a difficult time that we are living in, I feel like our community, our guests and our volunteers – this will just be the hope that we all need to see.”

The event will be on Friday, February 12 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you or a loved one would like to attend, you can register here.