“The Night to Shine” and “Joy Prom” Galas


On April 9, students at Carolina Forest High School will attend prom at the Marina Inn. The theme, “A Night Under The Spotlight” features a red carpet, studio lights and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Many people aren’t aware that there are exceptional, memorable nights planned to celebrate individuals with special needs.

 Former NFL superstar Tim Tebow established Night to Shine in 2014. According to The Tim Tebow Foundation, “Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older…” (Tim Tebow Foundation, 2020). Upon arrival, individuals are welcomed by the paparazzi. Then volunteers “treat guests to hair and makeup, shoe shining, limousine rides, corsages and boutonnieres, a catered dinner, karaoke and a dance floor.” Plus, each participant is “crowned king or queen of the prom.”

In comparison to “Night to Shine,” Beach Church hosts “Joy Prom.” This prom is held for students with special needs. Along with the excitement for the participants, there is a myriad of opportunities for volunteers.  They can plan the theme decor, coordinate formalwear and provide hair and makeup services to guests. Beach Church believes “Every special need individual should have a chance to feel honored and special” (“Beach Church | Joy Prom”). The church also provides complimentary photos and a full course dinner for the students. 

Junior Anna Satterfield adds, “In March 2019, I volunteered as part of the hype squad. I escorted the students to Prom and danced with them all night. My friends and I also dressed up for the event.” Satterfield further states, “ It was a rewarding experience to give the young adults a real prom. Not to mention, it was also fun for everyone involved.”

Overall, the “Night to Shine” and “Joy Prom” galas provide life-changing experiences to individuals with special needs. In addition, “Night to Shine” also invites celebrity guests to the event. Due to the popularity of the gala, “Night to Shine” hosts 721 churches from around the world, whereas, “Joy Prom” focuses on individuals within the Carolina Forest community. The cost to attend is relatively inexpensive. 

Teacher Katlyn Caroll adds, “Both “Night to Shine” and “Joy Prom” are wonderful events for the special education community.  The students love getting dressed up and having an event completely to themselves. It is wonderful to see them all dressed up, having the time of their lives.”

Picture Link: https://www.myhorrynews.com/news/local/beach-church-joy-prom-living-up-to-its-reputation/article_15b1019e-6468-11e4-9840-001a4bcf6878.html