It is never to early to plan ahead and that is what the Dodge City Church of the Nazarene and the economic development corporation are doing.

Night to Shine, the annual prom event for people with special needs, is in need of gently used prom dresses and formal wear for men.

"We are in need of the clothing," Dodge City/Ford County development corporation special projects coordinator Mollea Wainscott said, "especially dresses for plus-sized women.

"For the men we need nice slacks and button-up shirts to tuxedos will be greatly appreciated."

Clothing donations can be made at Arrowhead West, 231 San Jose Dr.

Coming into it's third year, Night to Shine is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and hosted by the Church of the Nazarene.

It will be held on Feb. 9, 2018 from 7 to 9 p.m. and is aimed for ages 14 and older.

"Last year, Night to Shine had 130 guests and over 250 volunteers," Wainscott said. "We are anticipating the same numbers again this year.

"We will have a DJ and dance floor, catered dinner, karaoke, photo booths, red carpet entrance, limousine rides, shoe shine and makeup and hair touch ups, professional photography and a promenade.

"At the end of the night, all guests will be crowned kings and queens of the prom. "Along with clothing donations, we are still in need of monetary donations. "Donations can be made to the Church of the Nazarene, 1700 W. Ross Blvd."

For those wishing to volunteer, the areas needed are food service, volunteer check-in, red carpet escorts and buddies.

"Every guest is paired up with a buddy," said Wainscott. "The buddy will accompany and assist their assigned guest throughout the evening, enjoying dinner and other activities."

Volunteers must be 14 years of age and pass a background check. A volunteer form has all the needs defined when being filled out. "It is amazing to see the community come together to provide an unforgettable night for our special needs population," Wainscott said.

She added that the Night to Shine is a worldwide movement and that last February, 375 host churches and 150,000 volunteers came together to celebrate 75,000 honored guests with special needs.

"This year, Night to Shine is expected to take place in over 500 locations in all 50 states and on six continents," said Wainscott. To refer a guest, request a volunteer form, sponsor or for more information, contact Wainscott at housing@dodgedev.org or call 620-371-3869.

You can also visit the Night to Shine Dodge City Facebook page.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com