“Night to Shine” prom returns to Medford bigger than before

MEDFORD, Ore.- It’s already prom season for some in southern Oregon!

Rogue Valley groups are working to put on a “Night to Shine” prom event for teens and young adults with disabilities in our area.

“Night to Shine” was started in 2015 by the Tim Tebow Foundation, as a way to give a memorable night to kids with special needs. It’s since expanded internationally and all over the United States, including in Medford.

Grace Point Fellowship and ‘Inclusion Works’ are working together to give southern Oregon a night to shine after first putting on the event in 2020.

It’s in-person once again this year, and has already outgrown it’s original venue at Grace Point with two hundred guests this year, about 75 more than previous. It’s now being held at First Baptist Church located at  649 Crater Lake Avenue. The event is entirely complimentary to its attendees, and features music, dancing, and a celebrity-style red carpet entrance.

David Prince with grace point says getting sponsors for the event isn’t a hard task.

“From corporate level to individuals, it really isn’t a hard sell, sell. It’s just like do you want to participate and the answer usually is ‘Is this enough? Can we do more?'” he explained.

Bringing the event to Medford started with Joyce Wilson, Executive Director of ‘Inclusion Works’, challenging herself to “do something big” for the area and the kids in it.

“I’ve heard from parents: there’s just nothing for our adult child to be able to participate in, and we are so blessed and grateful that you have this and there is this opportunity,” she said.

“It’s great to see all the people who are there for you, you just get to have fun.” added Joyce’s daughter Arial, an advocate for those with special needs.

Prince says they are still welcoming sponsors to help more people have a special night on Friday, but they are also learning and growing every year. He says this is just laying the groundwork for an even bigger event next year.

For more information, or to see how you can help, check out  www.nighttoshineso.org

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