Making a Night to Remember

A well dressed man and woman posing for a photo at a party.
Watch highlights from the Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine at Compass Church.

“An unforgettable prom night experience that changes the narrative on how people with special needs are viewed. It is a celebration of the value of life and a night when all guests are kings and queens of the prom.”

The Tim Tebow Foundation

In February, Compass Church in Columbia, Mo. brought the Tim Tebow Foundation’s unforgettable prom experience called Night to Shine to hundreds of honored guests for the third year in a row including many individuals served by Boone County Family Resources (BCFR). The event is for anyone ages 14 and older with developmental and/or physical impairments.

Betty hasn’t missed the event in the three years and her favorite parts are having her photo taken and enjoying the time with her Night to Shine “Buddy”. Each participant is paired with a buddy volunteer who spends the evening alongside each party guest ensuring they have a great time by helping them engage in all the event has to offer. And there is always plenty of activities to choose from, including: karaoke, dinner and dessert buffets, a rockin’ dance floor, professional hair and makeup salon, a photo booth, balloon artist, a red carpet entry, limo rides and more.

Ricky enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones, and grinned from ear to ear during the limo ride. Each person has their own reason for enjoying the event, like supported living resident Sheila who particularly enjoyed wearing new jewelry and getting to drink sweet tea.

On the night of the event, BCFR direct support staff busily helped individuals dress up for the special occasion while they wore their biggest smiles in anticipation of the night to come. The event is a fun-filled evening for not only the individuals served by BCFR, but the staff who support the individuals as well.

“As a staff I wanted to see the experience. I made rounds throughout the night to see how they were enjoying themselves,” said BCFR Direct Support Professional Shana Wilson. “I enjoyed seeing them all enjoy themselves and the hard work that the event staff put in to making this such a great night. The decorations, food prep, candy and donut station, corsage and the crowning of each King and Queen at the end of the night were all a big hit.”

A few individuals from the Supported Living program were unable to meet the deadline to attend the actual Night to Shine event, so BCFR staff threw a mock Night to Shine that included dressing up in special occasion gowns, a buffet of food, and ofcourse, karaoke.

Whether or not they attended the Night to Shine or the mock Night to Shine, an unforgettable evening full of love, joy and smiles where individuals celebrated life is what made it a night to remember.