‘Night to Shine’ gives teens with special needs the royal treatment

‘Night to Shine’ gives teens with special needs the royal treatment

When it comes to prom, there’s no such thing as too much sparkle for Clinton High School students Olivia Parry and Brandy Smith.

The two went shopping for prom dresses at Veils and Tails in Clinton to attend Night to Shine, a prom specifically for teenagers with special needs.

“I’m excited to go on the red carpet, get dressed up, get my hair and makeup done and just have fun,” said Olivia.

Brandy said she was excited for the limo ride and red carpet.

Earlier this year, Central Christian Church in Beloit learned it would receive a grant from the Tim Tebow Foundation to make the night happen. It was one of 46 churches chosen to participate. Another Wisconsin church, Brooklife Church in Mukwonago, will hold Night to Shine as well, according to the foundation’s website.

Central Christian Church received a grant of $8,500 to put the prom night together, but so many local businesses have donated services the church will put part of the money toward gift bags for students.

“One of our church’s DNAs is we’re all-inclusive. And we talk about it a lot with race and gender and things like that, but it’s people with special needs too and we want to make sure to include them in the fold,” said Shannon Carter, director of Night to Shine at the church. Carter added they hope to make the special prom an annual tradition.

While it’s all about the kids, this prom night can mean just as much to their parents.

“Just like any other child, you want the best for your child, and sometimes with kids with disabilities don’t get all the opportunities that quote ‘normal’ children get,” said Olivia’s mother, Mary Parry.

The prom will include free limo rides, a red carpet, photo booth, music, food and dancing. Girls can get their hair and makeup done for free and boys can get their shoes shined. There will also be a room for parents, guardians and caregivers.

Fifty-five teenagers have registered, but the church can host up to 100. Teens should be 16 years and older. If you know someone who would like to attend they can register here.