This screenshot from the 2021 Night to Shine event shows an example of how the special guests are celebrated during the drive-thru experience. COURTESY TIM TEBOW FOUNDATION

On the Friday before Valentine’s Day, LowCountry Community Church will join hundreds of churches around the world to give special needs individuals, ages 14 and up, a chance to shine.

The local church has partnered with the Tim Tebow Foundation to bring to Bluffton a prom night experience called “Night to Shine.”

“It’s really designed to celebrate every individual, and their uniqueness and how they’re created by God,” said Erin Pickering, LCC adult ministries director.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s event – like last year’s – will feature a Shine Through Parade followed by a virtual celebration, rather than a more traditional prom experience.

The Feb. 11 event will start with the parade from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the church, 801 Buckwalter Parkway.

When guests arrive, they won’t even get out of their vehicles. Volunteers will decorate their cars for the occasion. Each guest will receive a corsage or boutonniere, and will be welcomed by a crowd of fans and paparazzi.

Guests will be introduced one by one before riding over the red carpet. The parade will include lively music, a drive-through photo booth, swag bags, and a catered dinner to enjoy at home.

To the honored guests of Night to Shine, Pickering said, “You are valued. You are special. You are worth something.”

LCC wants to partner with the community to make this event extra special. The church needs donors and volunteers to help in several areas, including administrative tasks before the event, passing out swag bags, decorating vehicles and cheering on guests. The following businesses have already agreed to support the event: Mikkelson Law Firm, Lowcountry Yard Art, Hilton Head Honda, Nourish, Cookie Monster, Salon Karma, Outback Steakhouse and Sign Dreamers of Beaufort County.

LCC’s communications director David Blum said the church plans for this to be an ongoing annual event.

The church hopes to be able to celebrate 150 honored guests at this year’s event. To find those guests, organizers have reached out to Beaufort County School District as well as Special Olympics, Programs for Exceptional People, and other special needs organizations.

On a separate note, Tim Tebow fans will be happy to know that the well-loved Christian athlete and bestselling author will be in Bluffton next year. Tebow is scheduled to be a guest speaker at a men’s event in May 2023 at LCC.

The deadline to register as a guest of Night to Shine is Feb. 1. To register, volunteer or donate, visit lowcountrycc.org/nighttoshine.

Amy Coyne Bredeson of Bluffton is a freelance writer, a mother of two and a volunteer with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.