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News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2019

Media Contact:
Rachel Barter
MRI PR and Development Manager
217.875.8850
rbarter@maconresources.org

GT and First Christian Churches in Partnership with Macon Resources to Host Night to Shine Prom for People with Special Needs Sponsored by Tim Tebow Foundation

Decatur, IL – GT Church and First Christian Church in partnership with Macon Resources announced today that they will serve as one of nearly 500 churches around the world already registered to host Night to Shine 2019, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, simultaneously on Friday, February 8. Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older, hosted by local churches in all 50 states and across the globe all on one night. GT, First Christian, and Macon Resources are excited to be a part of this worldwide movement that God is using as a catalyst to change how culture embraces people with special needs and to rally the church worldwide to stand up for those who are differently-abled.

“As an agency that provides services to over 800 individuals with special needs in Macon County, MRI couldn’t be more grateful to support GT Church, First Christian Church, and the Tim Tebow Foundation in this event” said Amy Bliefnick, President and CEO of Macon Resources. “This world-wide event is changing the way people with special needs are viewed, and what better way to celebrate them and their talents by hosting an unforgettable prom night experience.”

Every guest of Night to Shine enters this complimentary event on a red carpet complete with a warm welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi. Once inside, guests receive the royal treatment, including hair and makeup stations, shoe shining areas, limousine rides, corsages and boutonnieres, a catered dinner, karaoke, prom favors, a dance floor… all leading up to the moment when each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom.

“I am blown away by how we are seeing God use the Church to step into this space as an advocate for people with special needs. It’s not about my foundation or the churches themselves, but about communities coming together to love and celebrate people with differences. Every town, every village, every state, every country needs a Night to Shine for their special needs community – a chance to be a part of something significant and life-changing…and to be blessed in the process,” said Tim Tebow, founder of the Tim Tebow Foundation.

As sponsor of Night to Shine, the Tim Tebow Foundation will provide each host church with the official 2019 Night to Shine Planning Manual, the official Night to Shine Prom Kit, complete with decorations and gifts for the guests, and personalized guidance and support from a Tim Tebow Foundation staff member. The foundation also has committed millions of dollars in financial support to hundreds of churches needing assistance in hosting the event.

“We are excited to host Night to Shine for the first time in our community alongside GT Church with the support of MRI”, said BJ Leonard, Missions Pastor at First Christian Church. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase God’s love for all people, especially those with special needs.”

“First Christian Church is thrilled to provide support and help for some of the most special people in our community. Jesus expected his followers to care for people of all social settings and levels. This joyous event will reach into the lives of some of our deepest friends and family members. It’s a win for both those who are served as well as those who serve” said Wayne Kent, Lead Pastor at First Christian Church.

When Night to Shine launched in 2015, 44 host churches and 15,000 volunteers worked together to honor more than 7,000 kings and queens of the prom. This past February, 537 host churches and 175,000 volunteers came together to celebrate 90,000 honored guests with special needs. Now in its fifth anniversary year, the Tim Tebow Foundation is seeing new churches sign up continuously and the event is expected to take place in over 700 locations this coming February.

“Night to Shine is a wonderful opportunity to show those with special needs that they are valued and loved by God”, said Pastor Matt Samuels, Lead Pastor at GT Church. “People with special needs do not often get the opportunity to attend an event like this, so it is a wonderful experience to make this night happen for them, as this is what serving Christ is all about.”

Night to Shine 2019 will be from 6-9pm on Friday, February 8th at GT Church. For additional information on the Night to Shine and how to register visit http://nighttoshine.gtchurch.com or https://www.firstdecatur.org/serve/nighttoshine/

For more information on the worldwide movement of Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, visit: http://www.timtebowfoundation.org/index.php/night-to-shine/

ABOUT GT CHURCH
GT Church exists to help people Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose, and Make a Difference.

ABOUT FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH
The mission of First Christian Church is to develop devoted followers of Jesus Christ by growing and serving together. This includes serving in the community and caring for people in Jesus’ name.

ABOUT MRI
MRI is a non-profit organization in Decatur, Illinois, that provides services to promote the growth, independence, and self-worth of children and adults with developmental disabilities.

ABOUT TIM TEBOW FOUNDATION
The Tim Tebow Foundation exists to bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. That mission is being fulfilled every day through the foundation’s seven areas of outreach, including W15H, Timmy’s Playrooms, Orphan Care, Adoption Aid, the Tebow CURE Hospital, Team Tebow and Night to Shine. For more information on the Tim Tebow Foundation, please visit www.timtebowfoundation.org