New Life Church on the Maple Valley Highway will host a prom for those with special needs on Feb. 9. Courtesy photo

New Life Church on the Maple Valley Highway will host a prom for those with special needs on Feb. 9. Courtesy photo

Local churches partner to bring prom to those with special needs

New Life Church in Renton will host the Feb. 9 prom for anyone 14 years and older

Get your tuxs, dresses and corsages ready because two local churches have partnered to throw a prom to remember.

New Life Church and Doxa Community Church are hosting Night to Shine, a prom for those with special needs on Feb. 9 at the New Life Renton campus.

The event, which is part of the Tim Tebow Foundation, is for anyone aged 14 and older with special needs to dress up and attend a night of dancing, games and fun. Nearly 500 churches around the country will host the event on Feb. 9 for approximately 90,000 guests.

According to Chelsea Jones, kid’s pastor at New Life, the event is the church’s way of affirming those with special needs.

“A lot of times in high schools, (kids with special needs) are not able to go to the normal prom,” she said. “We’ll have… a prom that’s fit for them. Really it’s just a night to celebrate the value of life, for them to come in and feel like they have a place and be able to feel loved on.”

New Life Church has various locations around South King County, including in Renton, Maple Valley, Kent and Burien. Jones said they see many kids with special needs coming to all of their services and that their mission is to make sure they have a place to belong.

“When I first came on, I recognized that there were a lot of kids that were coming to our service that didn’t have a place,” she said. “They would show up and be shoved in a corner or paired with a buddy who didn’t know what they were doing. That sparked in me a need to do something for this community. I think a lot of times these communities are overlooked because people don’t know what to do, but as a church we are called to do something more. This is a place they should come and should have a place.”

Hosting an event of this manner is a mandate of faith, according to New Life’s teaching pastor Brian Jenkins.

“The fundamental mission of faith in modern society, one of the biggest roles that faith can help provide in modern society is dignity and acceptance,” Jenkins said. “When we say ‘Who so ever will,’ we actually mean it. And we’re proving it. We’re putting our boots to the ground on this. We’re really committed to that.”

New Life will host a dress boutique where registered attendees can come and pick out dresses they will wear for the night. They will also have their hair and makeup done before the event.

Each attendee will also be paired with a buddy who will act as a date and a helper during the night. The night will include dancing, karaoke, snacks and more. There will also be a respite room, a space for a bit of quiet and rest for both attendees and caregivers.

New Life is looking for local vendors to volunteer services (including limo service and catering). For more information on donating services, email ccelis@nlchurch.com. The church is also looking for financial assistance for the event. For more information, visit https://community.timtebowfoundation.org/team/131378.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the event, visit https://nlchurch.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/26/responses/new.

Registration is required for this event. To register, visit https://nlchurch.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/46/responses/new. Jan. 12 is the deadline to register.

For more information about the Night to Shine event, visit https://www.nlchurch.com/nighttoshine/.

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