Community Evangelical Church and Alvernia University partner for unforgettable prom night
Community Evangelical Church (CEC) and Alvernia University partnered to bring the Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine back to Berks County for the first time since 2020 on Friday. The event, celebrated by hundreds of churches of different denominations worldwide, is designed to provide an unforgettable prom night experience for people aged 14 and older with special needs.
“Alvernia is committed to personal and social transformation through integrated, community-based inclusive excellence making this event a fit for the Office of Accessibility Services and the Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement’s partnership with the CEC,” said Vice President of Mission, Diversity and Inclusion, Darryl Mace, Ph.D. “This is also the debut event for the Holleran Corps initiative geared toward instilling a lifelong commitment to service in participating students making the event that much more special. Over 450 Alvernia students, faculty, staff, senior leader and community volunteers dedicated their time to ensure our guests had a wonderful prom.”
160 honored guests were present in person and 15 tuned in to experience the event virtually, along with 210 parents and caregivers. Every guest received hair and makeup services, shoe-shining, limousine rides, corsages, and boutonnieres upon arrival, courtesy of the volunteers and event sponsors. The guests entered on the red carpet and received a catered dinner before heading to the dance floor where additional “buddy” volunteers met them.
“We want our honored guests to know they are loved and valued by God. We initially got involved with Night to Shine because we were impressed by the passion and heart that Alvernia University and the Tim Tebow Foundation share for this incredible event,” said CEC Associate Pastor Tim Sanger. “We are honored to team up with both organizations to celebrate these honored individuals in our community and can’t wait to give them a ‘Night to Shine.’”
Guests also had access to a sensory room managed by Alvernia occupational therapy students as an experiential learning opportunity as well as an activity room managed by Education Corps volunteers in the Holleran Corps throughout the event. A respite room was available for parents and caregivers. President Glynis A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D. and City of Reading Mayor Eddie Moran crowned the kings and queens of the prom before one last dance at the end of the night.
"The University holds to the ideal of 'knowledge joined with love.' Night to Shine is focused on love for the honored guests and their families, said Director of Accessibility Services, Andrea Swift, Ed.D. who has volunteered at Night to Shine events in PA since 2016. “Our students had the pleasure of sharing an incredible night celebrating unique individuals and ensuring that they know how valuable they are. Alvernia students also had the opportunity to put their knowledge they have learned in the classroom into practice as they helped with this community event."
Thank you to all of our sponsors, partners and volunteers for making this event possible:
Castle Sponsor- Alvernia University
Ball Room Sponsors
- Tim Tebow Foundation, 30 West Entertainment, Community Evangelical Church
- Limousine Sponsor
- Unending Promise, Berks County Autism Society, Community Evangelical Church, Locust Valley Chapel, Alvernia University Office of Accessibility Services, Chick-fil-A, Bean Funeral Home, Klee Funeral Home , Reading Muhlenberg CTC
- Red Carpet Sponsor
- Anonymous, Community Evangelical Church, Alvernia University Occupational Therapy Faculty, BCTC Baking Department, BCTC Floral Department, M and M Sandwich Shop
- Table Sponsor
- Alvernia University College of Business, Communication, and Leadership, Anonymous, Riverfront Credit Union, AvidXchange Inc (part of Riverfront), Tara Simmons, Aladdin Food Services, Infinity Limousine
- Crown Sponsor
- Alvernia University College of Business, Communication, and Leadership
Senior Leadership, the four Deans, Office of Accessibility Services, Media Suite, Mission & Ministry, Aladdin Food Services, Circle K, Reading Youth Initiative, Public Safety, Office of Safety & Risk Management, Public Safety, Office of Marketing & Communications, Navigators, Occupational Therapy Department, Physical Therapy Department, Criminal Justice Department, Education Department, Service Learning Classes and the College of Business, Communication, and Leadership.
Community Evangelical Church, Mayor Eddie Moran and the City of Reading