CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The First Christian Church in Champaign will host the 2023 Night to Shine in-person for the first time in two years. Though they are “excited to be a part” of the worldwide event that celebrates people with special needs, they are hoping to get more volunteers to “make this year’s event a success for such wonderful people in the community.”
Night to Shine began in 2015 with 44 host churches and 15,000 volunteers honoring more than 7,000 people with special needs. In 2020, a total of 721 host churches and 215,000 volunteers celebrated around 110,000 honored guests with special needs. However, the event was held virtually for the last two years, honoring guests with a virtual video experience and socially distanced Shine Thru drive-thru events.
This year marks the return to an in-person celebration. On Feb. 10 host churches around the world, including Champaign’s First Christian Church, will simultaneously host the “unforgettable prom night experience” from 6-9 p.m. Guests with special needs ages 14 and older receive the “royal treatment” before each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom.
“I’m so excited that Night to Shine 2023 will be back in-person,” said Tim Tebow, whose foundation sponsors the event. “We’ve been able to adapt over the last couple of years but we can’t wait to be back together in person to cheer for every guest.”
First Christian Church said they are “excited to honor the local community of people with special needs, ensuring they know they are valued and loved.” The return to an in-person celebration will increase the need for volunteers, though, and the church is hoping the community will volunteer to support the event.
To learn more about the event and how you can volunteer visit their website here.