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Night To Shine event

A prom for children with special needs

Students will arrive Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. and receive the whole red carpet treatment. Courtesy photo

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There is something to be said about strength in numbers. If it's the size of a sports team, or the number of people yelling in the stands, the more voices you have the louder you are. Tim Tebow, retired NFL quarterback, knows this better than anyone. For those of us that follow the NFL, we remember Tebow for his touchdown celebrations. What you might not know is the Tim Tebow Foundation services not only our community but through hard work and countless volunteers, has found a way to bring smiles throughout the world.  

Starting in 2015, Tim Tebow launched the idea to People magazine of a prom for children with special needs. In that inspiration, Night To Shine was born. Like anything else, this event started small with 44 locations and a little over 7,000 people in attendance in the United States. In 2016, those numbers had a 450 percent increase with 201 locations and a little over 30,000 in attendance, including Haiti. Coming upon 2017, the foundation is hoping to blow those numbers out of the water. On Feb. 10, Evergreen Christian School in Olympia is hosting Night To Shine. In charge of this free event is parent Laura Matson.

Laura saw Night To Shine debut on the news a year ago. She saw how powerful this movement was and brought the idea to Cindy Pollard (principal at Evergreen Christian School). Together, this event is being launched in Thurston County for the first time. Students will arrive at 6 p.m. for the whole red carpet treatment. Upon arrival, volunteers will be taking the ladies to perfect their hair and make-up, and shoe shiners for the gentlemen to make sure their dancing shoes are ready to hit the floor. Students will then take a limo ride around the block and back to the church where they will walk the red carpet and be greeted by the paparazzi. Once inside, the students and their buddies will have dinner and dancing, along with games. At the end of the night, every student will be crowned king or queen. "Our goal here is to let these kids know that they are wonderfully made, and that they deserve this," said Pollard.

Night To Shine, Friday, Feb. 10, 6-9 p.m., free, Evergreen Christian School, 1000 Black Lake Blvd., Olympia, 360.357.5590, ecsolympia.com/night2shine/#

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