Local church hosts “Night To Remember” for teens, young adults with special needs

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Heartland Community Church hosted its annual ‘Night To Remember’ celebration.

The event was a full on celebrity experience as hundreds walked the red carpet as they entered the prom for area students with special needs.

“They get a chance to walk down the red carpet,” said Night To Rememeber leadership team member Creig Day. “Just be cheered on by hundreds of people, celebrating who they are today.”

The event included helping attendees with prom dresses and tuxedos — even hair and make-up.

“It’s something I couldn’t do by myself,” said attending mother Jodie Peters. “It was just really nice to see her in a dress like that. Everybody that knows her was like WOW!”

“I was just in the living room waiting as they were getting her dressed!,” said attending grandfather Arza Peters.

Once inside the auditorium, everybody was served dinner and party favors.

But within minutes, most guests rushed to the dance floor. Friday night, Peters brought her daughter to her first ‘Night To Remember’.

“Having her feel special is the best part,” said Jodie Peters. “Even today, there’s a lot of bullies and things like that and she just feels really special.”

“She’s been excited all day,” said Arza Peters.

Deborah Gaines has brought her daughter Virginia for five years. She says before attending ‘Night To Remember’, her daughter didn’t like being in crowds.

“She didn’t wanna go to the mall or restaurant,” said Gaines. “Then there she was dancing with 250 people in a big crowd. It’s just the best feeling in the world to see her having a good time.”

The dance floor was jam packed, smiles everywhere.

Event organizers say ‘Night To Remember’ strives to celebrate everyone.

“The fact that every single person, every single person matters more than we can imagine,” said Day.

This is the 13th year ‘Night To Remember’ is hosted at Heartland.

Friday’s event hosted about 200 guests.

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