Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 |
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LIHUE — Matt and Amanda Philips are no strangers to the Special Needs Prom, after having being involved with the event for the past several years.
But this year, the planning will be a little different. The event, hosted by the Philips, the Lihue Missionary Church and Able Kauai, will get help hosting the “unforgettable prom night experience” by the Tim Tebow Foundation.
“We are thrilled to get this award from the Tim Tebow Foundation,” Matt said. “This allows us to grow the prom for special needs people throughout the island, not just limit it to the community. Do you realize there are people in their 50s who have never been to a prom because of their special needs?”
The prom, “Night to Shine,” is open to anyone 16 years and older, and provides an unforgettable prom night experience centered on God’s love, the people’s love, and the fact they are important individuals, Amanda said.
During prom night, which will be held Feb. 12 at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club, each guest will enter on a red carpet, complete with welcoming friendly paparazzi. Guests will receive Very Important People treatment, including hair and makeup stations, shoe shining stations, corsages and boutonnieres (made by parent volunteers), a karaoke room and dancing. The highlight of the night will be when each guest is crowned as a king or queen of the prom.
“Everyone who comes will be crowned,” Amanda said. “We have already received registration from the Easter Seals in Waimea who will do their pre-prom preparations in Waimea before busing the prom-goers to the Marriott. We are also getting inquiries from the North Shore. This ‘Night to Shine’ is for everyone.”
With the aid of the Tim Tebow Foundation, the prom is able to grow; this year’s venue is being moved to the larger accommodations at the Kauai Marriott, Matt said.
“Being part of the Tim Tebow Foundation family, we are also one of more than 100 churches from 41 states and seven countries around the world who will be hosting a ‘Night to Shine’ event,” Amanda said. “Last year was the first time the Tim Tebow Foundation ventured into hosting proms, and there were 44 host churches with more than 15,000 volunteers working together to honor more than 7,000 prom royalty.”
Matt said he is excited because the community is getting involved and wants to see the event succeed.
The Tim Tebow Foundation will provide each host church with a detailed instruction manual, a prom kit complete with decorations and gifts for the guests, financial support and individualized staff guidance.
“We will be fully staffed,” Amanda said. “Joshua Iloreta is in the process of putting together two ‘training’ sessions for parent volunteers and other volunteers who will be helping at the ‘Night to Shine.’ There will be Emergency Medical Technicians on hand. We will be fully staffed.”
Amanda said an event like the prom could not be done without the help of parents and other supporters who get help through Able Kauai, an arm of the Lihue Missionary Church that provides regular gatherings for support groups for parents of people with special needs. Able Kauai gets its name from Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is ABLE to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or thing, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
The group also provides events and support for people with special needs, such as a big yearly summer camp at Makanalani on the North Shore.
“Every event we host for people with special needs is free,” Matt said. “And the people feel special as well. This Saturday, they, along with Able Kauai, asked to do a cleanup of the Makanalani campsite where people will meet at the Lihue Missionary Church at 9 a.m., board a bus to Makanalani for clean-up, lunch, and a stop at Wailua Shave Ice on the return trip.”
Matt said the “Night to Shine” is not just for people with special needs, but for anyone who wants to help and become involved.
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