‘A Night to Shine’ sparkles at ‘The Palace’
The Riverbend Community Church went all out to give some of the community’s most excluded people a chance to dress up, be feted and to have fun at a prom just for them.
The celebration at The Palace Center, 623 Hanover St., Allentown gave 140 special needs guests the chance to dance, eat and socialize.
The lobby of the Palace Center was transformed to create the atmosphere of a grand hotel lobby complete with red carpet where arriving guests strutted their finery as they entered the building.
After passing a tremendous arch of balloons, the guests registered and met their buddy.
Cloak room staffers gathered the coats guests had worn against the cold night air.
In another corner, a makeup and hair dressing room had been created for any one who had a curl out of place. The service was provided by volunteers most of whom were experts in their field.
Mother-daughter team Tina and Mary Eitzenberger provided hair styling for guests who wanted to add glamour to their look. Tina works for Forte Salon in Bethlehem and Mary works for Revolt Hair Studio in Allentown.
A shoeshine booth was available for male guests to add gloss on their shoes. Pastor Mark Tramontina was one of the volunteers providing shoeshine services. He said his military experiences with shining shoes made him an expert.
A refreshment stand had plenty of water and coffee. A table of pastries awaited the guests.
Floral bouquets and boutonnieres were tied with ribbon or expertly pinned and ready for the ladies and gentlemen.
The event is a program of the Tim Tebow Foundation. According to the foundation’s website, “The vision was simple…work with churches around the country to provide an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love for people with special needs, ages 14 and older.”
According to Monica Tramontina, wife of Pastor Mark Tramontina, 650 churches worldwide sponsored similar events on the same night. She said 350 volunteers helped organize and staff the event where every guest was accompanied by a “buddy” whose job was to make sure the guest had a great time.
Monica Tramontina said it is the third year Riverbend Community Church has organized the event.