CHIPLEY – The stars weren't the only thing shining Friday, Feb. 9, as First Baptist Church Chipley presented the community's inaugural Night to Shine event in conjunction with the Tim Tebow Foundation.
296 volunteers on hand at the church to bring a prom-night experience for individuals with special needs ages 14-100.
FBC was one of 540 churches to host an event in their community with more than 175,000 volunteers globally offering their time and talent.
In Chipley, participants from Holmes, Washington, and surrounding counties walked the red carpet where they were greeted by cheers and flash from paparazzi cameras. Then, it was off to receive prom King and Queen crowns, as well as hair and makeup for the ladies and shoe-shining stations for the men.
Prom night photos were taken before dinner and dancing.
Limo rides were available throughout the night, with one guest stopping in the middle of the dance floor after his limo ride, stating he needed to call his mom to tell her how amazing the ride was.
Guests came from as far as Havana, Florida to be a part of the celebration.
Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews spoke of his pride for the community.
"I am so proud of the residents of Washington County for coming together like this," said Crews. "This is one of the best nights and our community is showing how amazing it is."
Night to Shine came to a reality after Robin Pemberton had a dream to do something big. Thoughts of her son, Evan, who has autism and others with special needs drove Pemberton to bring the event to Chipley after noticing there was no room to attend Night to Shine events in other counties due to the event filling up.
"Everyone deserves to have a special night," said Pemberton. "I wanted to show these people that God loves them and that other people do to. I wanted to give them a night to shine."