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First United Methodist to host Night to Shine

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Nov 13, 2018 at 5:00 PM

First United Methodist Church in Norwalk is one of nearly 500 churches around the world registered to host Night to Shine 2019.

Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, will happen Feb. 8. It is an unforgettable prom-night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 to 21, hosted by local churches in all 50 states and across the globe all on one night.

First UMC members said they are “excited to be a part of this worldwide movement that God is using as a catalyst to change how culture embraces people with special needs and to rally the church worldwide to stand up for those who are differently-abled.”

Every guest of Night to Shine enters the complimentary event on a red carpet complete with a warm welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi. Once inside, guests receive the royal treatment, including hair and makeup stations, shoe-shining areas, limousine rides, corsages, boutonnieres, a catered dinner, karaoke, prom favors and a dance floor. All that leads up to the moment when each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom.

“I am blown away by how we are seeing God use the church to step into this space as an advocate for people with special needs. It’s not about my foundation or the churches themselves, but about communities coming together to love and celebrate people with differences. Every town, every village, every state, every country needs a Night to Shine for their special needs community — a chance to be a part of something significant and life-changing … and to be blessed in the process,” said Tim Tebow, founder of the Tim Tebow Foundation.

As sponsor of Night to Shine, the Tim Tebow Foundation will provide each host church with the official 2019 Night to Shine planning manual and prom kit, complete with decorations and gifts for the guests and personalized guidance and support from a foundation staff member. The foundation also has committed millions of dollars in financial support to hundreds of churches needing assistance in hosting the event.

When Night to Shine launched in 2015, 44 host churches and about 15,000 volunteers worked together to honor more than 7,000 kings and queens of the prom. In February, 537 host churches and about 175,000 volunteers celebrated nearly 90,000 honored guests with special needs.

Now in its fifth year, the Tim Tebow Foundation is seeing new churches sign up continuously and the event is expected to take place in 700-plus locations in February.

For additional information on the Night to Shine hosted by First United Methodist Church in Norwalk, visit www.norwalkfirstumc.com. For more information on Night to Shine, visit www.timtebowfoundation.org/index.php/night-to-shine.

The Tim Tebow Foundation mission is “to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.” That is being fulfilled every day through its seven areas of outreach, including W15H, Timmy’s Playrooms, Orphan Care, Adoption Aid, the Tebow CURE Hospital, Team Tebow and Night to Shine. 

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