February 7, 2020 is the night where Sun Valley Community Church is hosting the annual prom night event, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, for those with special needs to experience an unforgettable night.
Night to Shine is celebrating its sixth anniversary this year, and this past year, 655 churches from around the world came together to host Night to Shine for approximately 100,000 guests with the support of 200,000 volunteers.
"It takes a lot of work and volunteers to pull off an unforgettable night such as this one," said Mo Grimm, Sun Valley Community Church Queen Creek campus pastor.
"We're truly honored to be able to host this event this year, because the special needs community is growing, especially in our church."
"An event and night like this one is definitely something that is necessary to show that everyone deserves to feel special," said Grimm.
There is a lot of work and effort from workers, volunteers and outsiders that goes into pulling off and making this night special for those attending.
"There is a lot of different activities and fun things for everyone to do during Night to Shine," said Karen McGuigan, the event coordinator for Queen Creek campus at Sun Valley.
"With all the different activities and special things planned for everyone, we need about 100-200 volunteers- it's honestly super exciting."
"I love that we're able to do this event this year because we're partnered with the Save Down Syndrome foundation and program so I believe this will help spread the word that we've been trying to spread for so long," McGuigan said.
As of now, almost 15% of the population has some kind of disability, and the numbers will continue to increase. The special needs community is prominent, and there are so many programs and foundations these days to promote Down syndrome.
There is also so much we don't know about the special needs community. For example, the abortion rate for terminating special needs pregnancies is very high. As in, 90% of those pregnancies are terminated.
"We try very hard to promote and expose all the truths behind this community because there is so much people don't know, and we want to educate them," said Mason Tinal, director or media for Save Down Syndrome.
"Our idea is to share how many special needs pregnancies are terminated and to, hopefully, show that everyone, regardless of their situation, deserves a chance to live."
"I love that Night to Shine, Tim Tebow Foundation because it truly allows those with Down syndrome to experience, know and understand how incredibly special and wonderful they are," Tinal said.
The Night to Shine event is for those with special needs who are 14 years old and older, hosted by the Tim Tebow Foundation.
"I am very excited to go, I have heard from my friends who have gone before that it's a lot of fun, and there is a lot of dancing," said Libby Anderson, a 17-year-old with Down syndrome.
"I am excited to go dress shopping and get my hair done the night of the prom because I have never gone to something like this, so I'm excited."
"I am very happy that they are doing this because now I can go and have fun with my friends, because I love to dance," Anderson said.
There are currently 671 churches hosting the event from around the country, and those numbers are continuing to increase.
The event is Friday, February 7, 2020 at Sun Valley Community Church, at the Queen Creek campus.