Night To Shine: Polk County’s Special Needs Prom at First Presbyterian Church

On Friday, February 9, Lakeland will host Night to Shine – a prom night event for people with special needs, ages 14 through adults. Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, hosted in over 450 locations across all 50 United States and in 15 countries around the world!

Lakeland’s event will be hosted at First Presbyterian Church, and fellow sponsors include North Lakeland Presbyterian, Presbyterian Chapel in the Grove, and Lake Gibson Church of the Nazarene.

About Night To Shine

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 for each honored guest, a Respite Room for parents and caretakers, and, of course, a dance floor… all leading up to the moment when each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom.

The guest list has reached capacity, but you can register a guest for the Wait List.

How YOU Can Participate


This event is completely FREE to participants, and it takes hundreds of volunteers to make this night a success! Your time and/or talents can be put to good use in the weeks prior to the event or the day of. Volunteer opportunities range from serving as a “buddy” to a guest at the event, parking, serving food, preparing decorations, and more.

To learn more and register as a volunteer for this event, visit A $10 fee is charged to help offset costs. Must be 14 or older to volunteer the night of the event.

{UPDATE: The volunteer list is full, however you can still sign up for the wait list and any additional volunteer needs}


Sponsorships and donations are welcome to help make this community outreach possible.

This is also a night to give parents respite, and Night to Shine is looking for restaurants, bowling alleys, movie theaters, coffee shops, etc. who might be willing to offer discounts, gift cards, or coupons, for the parents of the guests to give them the option for a discounted night out!

To sponsor, donate, or provide discounts for parents, contact Joyce Barclay or call (863) 686-7187.

Follow on Facebook

Be sure to follow Night to Shine on Facebook to get more information on this event, and details for 2019. Sign up in fall 2018 to volunteer or participate next year!

Special Needs Ministries at First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church is also home to a variety of special needs ministries. Back in 2013, Kim Spurlock (who I am proud to call a best friend) saw a need for a place for her son to go during church services and be cared for by trained professionals and volunteers. She helped start the Mini Miracles Sunday School Class, Mini Miracles Summer Camp, and has been an integral part of the Night to Shine event each year. Special Needs opportunities at FPC include:

Mini Miracles Sunday School

Offered weekly during the 10:30 worship hour. Welcomes children ages 4-12 who struggle with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD, or any other special need. This class allows children with exceptionalities to play freely and have safe social interactions in a secure environment with specially trained adults. Pagers are provided so parents can attend worship without worrying about emergencies.

Mini Miracles Summer Camps 

Summer camp for kids ages 5-12 with varying exceptionalities. Outdoor play, daily sensory play, IEP work during the summer, and so much more.

Buddy Break

Trained volunteers work with students with special needs to allow caregivers a break for a few hours one Saturday each month. Students are ages four to 16 with volunteers on a one-to-one ratio.

If you have a child with special needs OR a desire to volunteer, click here to learn more about these programs at First Presbyterian Church – a place where your children can feel safe and secure. All programs are run by highly trained individuals and compassionate volunteers.

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