Press Release from College of the Ozarks
College of the Ozarks participated in the annual Night to Shine event, in conjunction with the Tim Tebow Foundation Friday. The unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love and celebrating people with special needs, was held by host churches and organizations around the world simultaneously through a unique, online event.
The event was complete with all the treasured prom elements, and guests enjoyed music, prom favors, and messages from special guests. The fun culminated with each guest crowned king or queen of the prom.
C of O students prepared gift bags for guests containing crowns and tiaras, glow necklaces, corsages, and more. Bags for caretakers filled with coffee, chocolate, and Chick-fil-A gift cards were also provided. All items were delivered to the participating organizations prior to the event. A link to the virtual event was sent at 6 p.m., and many guests viewed the virtual event from home.
“Partnering with our local agencies and the Tim Tebow Foundation to bring joy, hope and love to these special kings and queens is a privilege for the College community,” said Dr. Justin Carswell, vice president for Christian ministries and dean of the chapel. “Despite all the challenges we faced this year in hosting the event, we were committed to making it a special night. The Christian Ministries students, Lori, and the staff at our partner agencies came together to create this special night and hear Tim Tebow share the message that everyone matters to God.”
Heading into its seventh year, Night to Shine continues to experience incredible growth. The event launched in 2015 with 44 host churches and 15,000 volunteers honoring more than 7,000 kings and queens of the prom. This past February, 721 host churches and 215,000 volunteers came together to celebrate 110,000 honored guests with special needs.
Participating agencies with College of the Ozarks included the following:
- Barnabas Prep
- Chances of Stone County
- New Hope Development/Cedar Creek Coffee
“Night to Shine looked different this year, but we still did everything we could to make it special,” said Lori Simmons, community service coordinator at College of the Ozarks. “These kings and queens look forward to Night to Shine all year long. As followers of Christ, we know that these kings and queens are fearfully and wonderfully made. It is our goal to make them feel like the loved and valued people who God created them to be.”
As sponsor of Night to Shine, the Tim Tebow Foundation provided each host church with infrastructure and support necessary to execute the virtual event with excellence, including the official 2021 Night to Shine Virtual Guidebook, personalized guidance and support from a Tim Tebow Foundation staff member, and access to the Night to Shine Virtual Experience. In addition to supporting the special event, the foundation also offers ongoing special needs ministry resources through Shine On to assist churches in beginning or enhancing special needs ministry at their church, providing more opportunities for the honored guests to be loved, served and celebrated year-round.