By MaryAnn Ketcham
(FORT PIERCE) Former football/baseball player Tim Tebow would be proud of the Treasure Coast and its dedication to his Foundation’s Night to Shine. A complimentary prom-style extravaganza for special needs individuals ages 14 and up, Night to Shine provides an opportunity to shower them with love and attention and to allow them to experience an evening of fun they will never forget!
Back in person for the first time since 2020, participants and volunteers were equally excited! Over 275 guests and 410 volunteers filled the elegantly decorated Fenn Center in Fort Pierce.
As guests arrived, they received a welcome flower and, if desired, received a shoe shine, a make-over, hair-styling, and posed for a photograph to take home. The pampering continued as they strolled into the main area via an official red carpet, where they stopped to sign autographs and smiled as onlookers waved pom poms and cheered them on!
Guests also enjoyed limo rides throughout the parking area and a memorable convertible ride sponsored by Garber Buick. An iconic moment of this event each year is the crowning ceremony when each buddy places a crown or tiara on their companion naming them the King or the Queen of the ‘prom.’
This year’s crowning, sponsored by the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County, brought an extra surprise, a message from Malcolm Harris-Gowdie, who missed the event while on-site reporting on the Super Bowl!
Ask any guest about their favorite activity; most would say the dancing! And dance, they did! St. Lucie Sheriff’s deputies even chimed in, leading a massive conga line throughout the facility.
A wide array of community sponsors provided fixings for a hearty meal to help keep a high-energy level. Still, those with aching feet paused in the relaxation room, doing arts & crafts or belting out karaoke tunes.
Loved ones watched a live-stream video of the event as they enjoyed Moonswiners BBQ in the Caregiver’s Respite Room.
The Tim Tebow Foundation provides a small portion of the funding. At the same time, 95% comes from the generosity of local donors and businesses, including St. Lucie County, which donated the use of the spacious Fenn Center.
Next year will mark the 10th year of Night to Shine on the Treasure Coast. Please join in the planning, which begins March 27th 2023.
The Tim Tebow Foundation, Treasure Coast Night to Shine
Matthew Hearn and Miss South Florida Anaa Kod.
Event Chairs James & Jenna Taylor.
St. Lucie County Property Appraiser Michelle Franklin cheers for the guests on the red carpet.
The dance floor!
The guests enjoy a fabulous limo ride around the Fenn Center.
Matt Mikkelson provides a shoe shine to Mark Gomalka.
Pastor David & Tammy Zoerhof of Genesis Church started the Treasure Coast Night to Shine 9 years ago.
Asiah White makes a grand entrance!
Wesley Glass gets crowned.
Volunteers Cathy Beck, Karen Cottin and Stephanie Castellanos make sure the guests feel loved!