A Night to Shine: Prom held for young adults with special needs

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Young adults who have disabilities took center stage Friday night at the annual Night to Shine prom.

The worldwide event is sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation – 721 churches from around the world will be hosting.

One such prom took place in Wanaque – a team-up between St. Francis of Assisi and St. Catherine of Bologna in Ringwood. There were 106 guests along with 300 volunteers at Friday’s event. The volunteers say that their work was especially important to make sure the guests had the time of their lives.

“They matter to God, that they’re special to God. And this is an evening where we get to celebrate our guests,” says Night to Shine coordinator Blair Ransom.

Parents who always have to be so protective of their children say that it was nice to allow them to enjoy themselves in a safe haven.

"It is the first time in 29 years that I have ever taken my son out of the van and just given him over to other people,” says mother Linda Salerno. “And he was very excited and it was a big step for me because it showed that he is an independent young adult and he gets to enjoy a prom just like his brother did."

And for the guests – it was a night to come out of their shell and see what life can be like.

“The first thing my mother said to me, she said, ‘Mo, don’t be nervous,’ That’s exactly what I’m trying not to do,” says Zikomo Dubose. "I’m single and trying to look for a good woman out there in America."

About 115,000 guests around the world attended a Night to Shine event Friday night.

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