The Night to Shine Marshall special prom event, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and hosted by the Immanuel Baptist Church in Marshall, is currently looking for hundreds of volunteers to help make the night magical for a special group of people.
“We are estimating to have about 300 guests and we need about 400 volunteers,” Night to Shine Marshall Organizer Patti Brady said. “I just checked the list today, and we have about 120 volunteers registered so far, so we really just want to encourage people to get registered by the Jan. 13 deadline.”
Night to Shine is a global event that partners with local churches and non-profits to host an area-wide prom event sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation which is geared for students and adults with special needs and disabilities.
Marshall’s event, which was attended by hundreds in spring of 2019, is set for 6 to 11 p.m. on Feb. 7 at Marshall Convention Center. More than 300 volunteers helped pull off the 2019 event, which included a red carpet entry for each guest.
“We have one volunteer, or ‘buddy,’ with each guest throughout the night of the event, and then we need about 100 other volunteers to help serve food, work as paparazzi on the red carpet and other duties,” Brady said.
Those who are interested in volunteering are asked to register by Jan. 13 on the event’s website at https://ibcmarshall.infellowship.com/ or at the event’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/nighttoshinemarshall/.
“We need time to plan how much food, and we ask that our volunteers attend one meeting so we can go over the guidelines and what they can expect the night of the event,” Brady said.
The two upcoming volunteer meetings volunteers can choose from are at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 16 and 24 at Immanuel Baptist Church’s main campus, located at 2408 W. Pinecrest Drive in Marshall.
The 2019 event created a magical and lasting memory for Marshall resident and Night to Shine guest Ann Majors, who attended last year’s event with her buddy.
“I went last year and I felt like a queen,” Majors said. “I want to do it again so I can feel like a queen again.”
Majors said she had a wonderful night of dancing, good food and fun in 2019.
“I danced all night with my buddy,” Majors said. “I got dressed up and had my hair and make up done. I still need to pick out my dress for this year.”
Brady said the event has done well so far this year with collecting donations, but they currently are in need of donated items to put in take-home bags that each guest receives on the night of the event.
“We need promotional items for the guests’ take home bags,” she said. “If there are any businesses out there than can donate water bottles, key chains or things like that, they can contact us on our Facebook page or by contacting Immanuel Baptist Church.”
Brady said the event is expecting 300 guests, so they need about 300 of each donated item.
This year’s event is expected to see guests from across the East Texas area, including from area schools, adult residential facilities and area organizations that span from Longview to Carthage, Jefferson and Shreveport.
Brady said several area colleges also step up to help out for Night to Shine, including Panola College, East Texas Baptist University, University of Texas Longview University Center and Wiley College.
“Panola College’s Cosmetology students are coming to do the hair and makeup again for our guests this year,” Brady said. “We will also have some jewelry out that they can select to wear, and the Marshall High School FFA is making corsages and boutonnieres for the guests.”
Brady said the event creates a lasting memory for all involved.
“Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older,” Brady said. “Immanuel Baptist Church is excited to be a part of this worldwide movement that is uniting churches of different denominations all over the world with the common goal of celebrating people with special needs.”
Tim Tebow started the Night to Shine event six years ago, and this year more than 700 churches worldwide will be hosting events on the same night in February.
“It is awe inspiring to see how God is using the church globally to stand up and advocate for people with special needs,” Tim Tebow said in a statement. “I truly believe that the world is coming together through Night to Shine to celebrate the love that God has for us. 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.”