The red carpet will roll out when special needs individuals have their moment in the limelight.

The Night to Shine will be held Friday, Feb. 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene, 1700 W. Ross Blvd.

The Night to Shine is a genuine prom experience sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and area sponsors.

The Dodge City Ford County Development Corporation and Arrowhead West work together to facilitate the event which allows guests with special needs to get extra-special treatment and celebrity pampering for an evening. Invitations are distributed among Arrowhead West clients and special education teachers from area school districts.

All the guests get VIP treatment for the night with hair, makeup and fashion touch-ups on arrival and guys getting shoe shines. Guests are outfitted with boutonnieres and corsages followed by a promenade and photo-op with full-on paparazzi, red carpet and professional pictures in front of backdrop.

After seeing a video message from Tim Tebow, every guest is awarded King or Queen of the prom, receiving a crown or tiara of their own.

The guests are always paired with a volunteer buddy from the local community. The guests and their buddies have the chance to wear some formal wear, enjoy a meal together and dance to a DJ.

The buddy volunteers come from all over southwestern Kansas. Mollea Wainscott, special events coordinator, said the event, in its third year, gets a large response.

"It's amazing to see the community come together to support this," Wainscott said.

Night to Shine is always held on the Friday before Valentine's Day. Wainscott said there are 193 volunteer buddies for this year's event, paired with at least 120 special needs guests. Volunteers also act as formal escorts to and from scenes to keep up the celeb status.

The prom setting is not just for high school kids. Guests are from ages 14 and up but the average age is 42, according to Wainscott. Registered guests are from across southwest Kansas. One guest from as far away as Iowa is attending this year.

Wainscott said everyone benefits from the excitement and celebration.

"It's a really fun night," Wainscott said. "I think our volunteers end up having as much fun as our guests do. It's really a rewarding for our volunteers.

"It is one of the highlights of the year for some of our guests."

To contact the writer email