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Shining Example

Runners who live in Coconut Creek recognize North Creek Presbyterian Church as the site of the annual North Creek Explorer 5K (pictured above), a race that benefits the Coconut Creek Police Department Explorers.

But the church, which has been a Creek staple for more than 20 years, also reaches out to the community through other events and activities such as a fall festival, aerobics classes, a NASCAR fantasy league, painting classes and plans for a bowling league and “Mommy and Me” park groups—activities that are open to those not involved with the church.

Even with these activities, the church wanted to connect with families of children with special needs. Sarah Bolhofner, a member who helps the church with marketing and advertising, says the church was always looking for ways to reach out to those with disabilities through events that can create a support system and allow children with special needs to connect.

February will give them a chance to do just that, as the church hosts Night to Shine, a prom night for those 14-up with special needs, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation.

The free, one-night event welcomes young guests with a red carpet and treats them to hair and makeup stations, corsages, catered dinner, karaoke, prom favors and dancing. Unlike most proms, each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom.

“I want them to have an unforgettable night and something that they can remember for forever,” Bolhofner says of her hopes for the night. “These young faces that are going to light up when they walk in and they see the balloons and the confetti and the streamers and hear the music. They get their hair done, and they all get to wear crowns and tiaras. It’s going to be really exciting to see how they react.”

While last year, the event was held at more than 500 churches worldwide, Bolhofner says the people of North Creek, who will volunteer at the event, will make the event unique—including the volunteers who are putting the event together.

“It’s really special for us to be able to be involved in the community and also in an organization that is so dear to our hearts,” says Bolhofner, who is daughter-in-law to the church’s pastor, Mark Bolhofner. “Because we know so many people that either are people that have special needs, or have families that have young ones with special needs, and we just want to help them and understand how to participate in their lives in a way that’s impactful.”

Night to Shine will take place Feb. 8, 6-9 p.m. at North Creek Presbyterian Church, 4601 NW 71st St. To register, visit northcreektoday.org.

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