QUINCY -- Kory Hollensteiner made sure that for everyone attending, Night to Shine would be memorable.
As each of the nearly 300 guests arrived and walked the red carpet on Friday night at the Crossing's 48th Street campus, he would introduce them, prompting cheers from a crowd.
Night to Shine offers a prom experience for people with special needs ages 14 and older. The guests in party clothes had a portrait taken before they made their way to the auditorium, featuring a large dance floor.
Hollensteiner, the 48th Street campus pastor, enjoyed watching guests arrive.
"There is just something about just seeing their reactions when they go on that red carpet and their name gets announced, and there's ‘paparazzi' taking pictures and cheering for them," he said. ‘Their face is just one of those that you can't explain, and it's one of those moments that you know this is worth it."
The Crossing also hosts a Night to Shine event at its Macomb campus.
The Tim Tebow Foundation, which sponsors Night to Shine, provides each church with a planning manual, an official Night to Shine Prom Kit with decorations and gifts for the guests, and guidance from the staff.
"This is a big planning process, but it is so worth it," Hollensteiner said.
Last year, 90,000 guests with special needs attended Night to Shine events hosted by 537 churches with 175,000 volunteers. More than 700 locations around the world hosted events.
"We just want everybody to know that they are God's workmanship and that every single one of them are kings and queens of this night," Hollensteiner said.
Kathryn Adrian, event and communications coordinator with the Crossing's multi-site team, and one of the organizers, said that each guest is partnered with a buddy for the evening. Many are from area schools.
"We have all the football players from (Quincy University) this year, we have some John Wood teams, a couple more QU teams, and we also have some students from Liberty High School who make our boutonnieres and help pass them out," Adrian said. "It really has become community supported, which has been really cool to see."
A video message from Tebow was played before the start of dinner.
Guests were treated to hair and makeup stations, shoeshines, limousine rides and karaoke.
Guests with special needs aren't the only ones served. Parents and caregivers are provided a respite room.
"Our goal in that is to really provide any caretakers that want to be on site, they can step away and relax," Adrian said. "We also have a live stream of what's going on on the dance floor, so they can watch the guests and see that they are enjoying themselves."