Night to Shine brings top-notch prom experience to persons with special needs

Fifth annual event is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and is hosted locally by Newlife Church

Over the last five years, the local Kitsap community has steadily increased its support for an interactive and memorable prom night experience dedicated to special needs individuals.

Last Friday night, Newlife Church in Silverdale hosted its fifth Night to Shine at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. The event is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and is available for people with special needs who are 16 and older. These types of events are put on all over the globe by the Tim Tebow Foundation, according to Jason Oberholtzer, the creative director for Newlife Church.

Every participant received the royal treatment, including a limousine ride and a red carpet experience. Inside the venue, hair and makeup stations were at the ready, as were shoe shining areas, a karaoke room, photo opportunities and a dance floor to let loose. Throughout the night, each guest is paired with a “buddy,” who dances, takes pictures and visits each station with the guests.

“We were kind of looking at this event and thought that the heart of this event is just incredible,” Oberholtzer said. “We just felt like it really fit for this community.”

“The first couple of years, [TTF] provided a lot of support to get you up off the ground from an organizational standpoint,” Oberholtzer continued. “It’s just amazing to see this model work because ultimately they kind of know intuitively that this is one of those events that the community wants to be involved in, and they begin year after year to sort of hand over some of the organizational, and even funding components of the event as well.”

Each person was also personally celebrated and crowned prom king or queen. Last year’s event had over 400 guests in attendance with the support of over 1,000 volunteers and caregivers. According to the Tim Tebow Foundation’s website, Night to Shine 2019 was hosted by 655 churches across the United States and in 24 countries.

“What we’ve seen over the years is that there’s more and more community sponsors that are getting involved,” Oberholtzer said. “What we notice also is when someone sees the event and experiences the event, just the impact of this event on a personal level really compels people to get involved. It comes through in their faces, it comes through their expressions, it comes through in every aspect of the event.”

The ever-growing event initially came about when Newlife Church began a special needs ministry, according to Night to Shine Co-Leader Melinda Bortolazzo. Another church nominated Newlife to host an event like this and the rest is history.

“We’re kind of pushing the margins of our community,” Bortolazzo said. “This is just a great way to bridge the community and the individuals with special needs. They’re just amazing people and they bring me so much joy.”

More in News

26th District lawmakers tout sponsored bills in Olympia

Randall’s Medicaid extension bill passes Senate unanimously; House GOP calls for $30 car tabs

And the top-rated water source is …

Port Orchard City Council conducts own H 2 O taste test

Is Port Orchard ‘safe’? It depends on who you ask

National Council for Home Safety and Security says city ranks low in study; police chief has doubts

Dr. Berit Madsen, Dr. Faroush Abar, Dr. Jennie Crews, Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, Miss Poulsbo Minako Todd and SCCA Vice President Aaron Crane pose for a photo during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the SCCA’s recently expanded clinic in Poulsbo. Ken Park / Kitsap News Group.
                                Dr. Berit Madsen, Dr. Faroush Abar, Dr. Jennie Crews, Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, Miss Poulsbo Minako Todd and SCCA Vice President Aaron Crane pose for a photo during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the SCCA’s recently expanded clinic in Poulsbo. Ken Park / Kitsap News Group.
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance celebrates expansion of Poulsbo clinic

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance celebrated the expansion of its Poulsbo oncology clinic… Continue reading

Crash reported at SR 305 and Viking Avenue in Poulsbo

Emergency were called to a multiple vehicle collision at the intersection of… Continue reading

County approves annexation of 93 parcels of property for CKF&R

Senate Bill 5010 allows CKF&R to annex parcels within the fire district’s boundaries

‘Pipe bomb’ prompts residential evacuation in Poulsbo

A Department of Corrections visit to a Poulsbo home Monday evening resulted… Continue reading

Shelter in place warning lifted for Newberry Hill gas leak

CKF&R: gas leak occurred when an excavator struck a one-inch gas line

Bremerton WestSound Symphony gets family-friendly with ‘Fairy Tales & Legends’

Half-priced tickets are available for youth ages 18 and younger

Most Read