West-Ark Church of Christ in Fort Smith will host Night to Shine on Friday, a simultaneous event sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation to provide a prom night experience for people with special needs, ages 14 and older.
The event will include participants from around the area including Crawford County.
“We know we have several from Crawford County, both as guests and volunteers,” said Jordan Brown, an organizer with the event. “I know many of the Kings and Queens hail from Crawford County.”
Brown and his wife, Meredith, are from Alma and have enlisted their friends for help with the event. One of the first sponsors to sign up to provide both product donations and volunteers was Walgreens in Alma.
“Tina Gregory, the store manager (of Walgreens) has been an awesome supporter of our event, as has Robby Walls of Petals and Stems,” Brown said. “We also have several members of the Alma Police Department and Alma School District signed up to help.”
Bekaert “has also been an incredibly generous supporter of Night to Shine.” Last year, Bekaert signed up to provide all the food and drinks for the event and agreed to provide the same this year. A food provider stepped in to donate 100 percent of the food for the night while Bekaert will provide the drinks.
Brown said many of the volunteers will be coming from Crawford County school districts and DECA clubs have provided many of the Buddies for Night to Shine for last year and this year.
Last year, the event had 153 Kings and Queens with 350 volunteers. So far, West-Ark is expecting about 200 Kings and Queens, and more than 500 volunteers.
Every guest (Kings and Queens) arrives at the complimentary event to 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, limousine rides, corsages and boutonnieres, a catered dinner, karaoke, prom favors for each guest, a room set aside for parents and caretakers, and a dance floor.
Night to Shine began in 2015 with 44 host churches and has grown to 375 host churches and 150,000 volunteers to honor more than 75,000 Kings and Queens. This year’s event is expected to take place in more than 500 locations in all 50 states and on six continents.