By Philadelphia Sun Staff

On February 10, 2017, from 6–9 PM, Epic Church will host an unforgettable prom experience for 200 honored guests (ages 14 and older) with special needs. Each guest will be given the full VIP treatment, including a red carpet entrance (complete with “paparazzi”), hair and makeup stations, shoe shines, dinner, dancing, a photo booth, rides in a limo party bus, and karaoke. “Night to Shine” is an international event and Philly’s special evening will be held at the beautiful School of the Future, located at 4021 Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104—off I-76 near the Philadelphia Zoo.

Pre-registration is required for this free event, and guests or caregivers can register at epic.church/nighttoshine.

Each guest will be assigned a personal host (buddy) for the evening. Family members and caregivers will be hosted in a respite area with refreshments. Nearly 300 volunteers from Epic Church will serve to make the event special. A highlight of the event will be when each guest is crowned prom king or prom queen. Ashley Hughes, a volunteer from last year’s Night to Shine, said, “When passing out crowns and tiaras, I saw a young man begin to cry when his crown was placed on his head. He said he felt like a king! Just seeing how special the crowns made everyone feel really touched my heart.”

oasis_01-22-17aSM01Night to Shine is hosted in partnership with the Tim Tebow Foundation. The event has grown to over 350 locations in all 50 states and in 9 countries. For Tim Tebow, a philanthropic Heisman Trophy Winner, Night to Shine represents a plan that he’s had since he was young: “When I was 15 years old, I realized the importance of fighting for people who can’t fight for themselves,” Tebow said. “As a foundation, we are so passionate about people with special needs, and this event is a great time to celebrate them and show them they are loved.”

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Commenting on the experience from last year’s event, Lisa Bullard from Fairmount, said, “My buddy (Miguel) … loved music so we sat next to the speakers and clapped hands the entire night. While my hands were tingling and my arms might have been sore, everyone who knew Miguel was so thankful that I was clapping with him because he LOVES to clap. I was so blessed to be able to do something so simple, and the connection I made with Miguel was wonderful!”

Lead Pastor Kent Jacobs of Epic said, “We’re so excited to host a Night to Shine again because it’s an opportunity to create such a special memory for some very special and deserving people.” Hosting the prom is an extension of Epic Church’s desire to ensure that all people matter and are valued. Every week at all of the church’s locations, a buddy ministry is offered for special needs children. A trained “buddy” is assigned to help each special needs child participate as he or she is able. These children engage in age-appropriate worship experiences, teaching, and games, and their parents attend the adult services without having to worry about how their child is doing.

Epic Church has four Philadelphia locations, which collectively offer eight Sunday services. There are services at 10 AM and 11:30 AM in Center City at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, located at 480 S. Broad Street; in Roxborough at the Roxborough High School, located at 6498 Ridge Avenue; and in Fairmount at the Franklin Learning Center, located at 616 N. 15th Street (near N. Broad and Spring Garden). The Manayunk location has services at 8:30 and 10 AM at the United Artists Theater, located at 3720 Main Street. For more information about Epic Church, visit www.epic.church.

Reprinted : http://www.philasun.com/oasis/night-shine-prom-experience-planned-people-special-needs/