Blairsville church gives special guests a chance to Shine
Blairsville, Ga. – More than 700 churches across the United States have hosted Night to Shine proms, and Friday night marked the second annual celebration for First United Methodist Church of Union County.
The Tim Tebow Foundation began to sponsor the inspirational event for people with special needs in 2015. The number of honored guests attending has nearly doubled, going from 60 in 2018 to 110 this year.
Guests ages 15-72 were invited from seven surrounding counties. More than 300 volunteers and 40 local businesses donated their time, money, food and loving service to make this dream possible.
The itinerary commenced with a red carpet leading from registration to the main hall, where each guest was announced, applauded and chauffeured into the ballroom with their assigned volunteer buddy. After receiving a corsage or boutonniere, each guest was seated for dinner, which was donated by dozens of local restaurants.
The evening proceeded to the dance floor, with a DJ spinning upbeat tunes. There were also events going on elsewhere, including rides in a limo around the historic square, access to a photo booth and posing for professional photographers, and an illusionist act from Christian magician Greg Davidson.
As the previous year’s amusement theme was karaoke, the administration ensures that each year offers a unique and fun-filled experience. While the honored guests enjoyed their exceptional treatment, the parents and caregivers were invited to play bingo across the hallway.
The event drew to a close with a grand finale, as each guest was crowned king or queen, and a balloon drop was held in the duration of the song “Night to Shine” by Rascal Flatts. Expressions of delight were worn by all, love and elation were palpable, and the genuine care and kindness was contagious.
Kim and Joe Tatman served as the co-coordinators from First United Methodist Church to organize the event. The Night to Shine gives the community a chance to pay homage to people with differences, bringing joy to guests and volunteers alike.
“It’s beautiful because it celebrates all walks of life. It brings together people whose paths might not cross under normal circumstances,” Ms. Tatman said.