While walking the red carpet is a NTS tradition, its one that began hundreds of years ago as a means to honor celebrities, heads of states, and other VIP’s. The tradition is notorious for places and events like the Academy Awards, Presidential inaugurations, British royalty events and anything tied to Hollywood. The carpet signifies royalty, the elite, and the rich and famous.
So imagine the surprise and thrill when a person with special needs opens the doors to the Bethel foyer on Prom Night, and pandemonium breaks loose. Dozens of loud cheers erupt, flashes from multiple cameras pop, surprised smiles emerge big and robust, and parents stand at the edge of the carpet with tears streaming down their faces as they watch their child with special needs being cheered, honored and celebrated as they experience royal treatment on the red carpet. For many, the tears represent something they never imagined possible: love and overwhelmingly acceptance at a PROM event, something many people with special needs never get to experience.
In fact, some NTS guests enjoy the red carpet treatment so much they return outside to re-enter the building a second time to experience the thrill all over again. What an incredible joy for each guest to hear cheers and feel the love and excitement as they enter the Bethel foyer for their Prom event.
SO HAPPY AND SO HONORING
One of our 2019 guests, Bethel attender Josh Vargas, participated in his first NTS prom last year. He had been patiently waiting to turn 14 so that he could come and experience the event. Josh was fitted for his first-ever black tux, and came ready to enjoy the evening. And while dancing was first on his list, the red carpet was an incredible way to start off the evening for him.
“He loves to dance,” said his mom, Liana. “He really was excited to participate last year. But the red carpet…he LOVED it! It made him feel so special and it was so fun to see him light up as people cheered for him.”
Another NTS parent expressed gratitude and joy as she watched her son walk down the red carpet for his second NTS prom last year. “The cheers for him are overwhelming. He is so happy and it feels so honoring to see him celebrated and enjoyed, just like any young adult at a prom would be celebrated and enjoyed! For him to experience this, it’s feels like a taste of what heaven will be like—where we will all be equally loved and no disabilities will exist.”
Liana added, “It’s such a joy to my heart to see Josh enjoy this event, to see him celebrated. He was so happy and so blessed by the Prom. I have told so many of our friends they need to sign their kids up to participate because it’s just so awesome.”
THROUGH HIM WHO LOVED US
Scripture reminds us in Romans 8:35-39
that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. No disease or disability will ever change how much the Lord loves and adores those whom He has created. The Night to Shine Prom is a tangible expression of that love, as we celebrate and honor our guests and their families. We love because He first loved us
For more information on how to serve or participate in our Feb 7th NTS Prom, visit the NTS info page
on the Bethel website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org