New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Their Night to Shine: New Life on Main hosts prom for individuals with special needs


February 18, 2019

Best of Buddies members share an elegant dinner before Night to Shine prom on Feb. 9.

On one night, Friday, Feb. 8, a total of 655 churches from across the world came together and hosted prom events for approximately 100,000 guests through the support of 200,000 volunteers. Known as the "Night to Shine," the event celebrated its fifth anniversary this year as a global celebration of people with special needs. Night to Shine is a product of the Tim Tebow Foundation, a nonprofit established by professional athlete Tim Tebow.

The foundation chose New Life on Main Church in Harvey to host central North Dakota's Night to Shine event, and more than 70 individuals from within a 75-mile radius of Harvey gathered there to the get the royal treatment at this specially organized prom. Coordinator Annie Larson and a chorus of volunteers have been planning the event since October.

Individuals age 14 and older with special needs were invited to attend, and ladies and gentlemen from Devils Lake, Minot, New Rockford, Carrington, Harvey, Fessenden, Sheyenne and beyond made the trip- all decked out in dapper tuxedos and dazzling gowns.

The Tim Tebow Foundation funds the prom events, and through generous volunteers the exquisite evening is carried out from start to finish. Locally, Harvey cosmetologist Jennifer Mertz offered to do participants' hair and nails before the event. Once they were all gussied up, each prom-goer made a red carpet entrance, with friends and relatives surrounding them as they walked in. They received "swag bags" just like celebrities do at an awards show, and all were crowned kings and queens of the evening. Each feasted on a buffet of food and drink, danced to their heart's content and went home with a commemorative photograph of themselves to boot.

The members of Best of Buddies (BOB), a group of students served by East Central Center for Exceptional Children, enjoyed a lavish spread at the Harvey Pizza Ranch before the event, complete with fabric table linens and napkins, sparkling chargers and shining silverware. After the meal, they enjoyed a posh ride in a limousine to the Night to Shine event.

East Central Vocational Coordinator Vickie Becvar noted that a generous donation from the New Rockford Eagles charitable gaming fund helped defray the costs of the meal, travel and tuxedo rentals by the BOB group participants, including Mariah Duchscherer, Justin Sogge and Steven Krueger, all of New Rockford. Rose Garden Floral of Carrington and the Flower Scent'R in New Rockford offered the same tuxedo rental rate as national partner Men's Warehouse, also a notable contribution.

A video of the Harvey Night to Shine was produced by TraceLynn films, a Jamestown videographer. For a glimpse inside this magical evening, go to


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