Anna's Prom in a Box

April 21st, 2022

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As written by an honored guest’s mom, Melinda Winter.

Who doesn’t enjoy a wonderful star-studded event where you get all dressed up and meet friends for a night of dancing?  My daughter Anna does, and while current events have challenged us to step back for the safety of all, we have learned to be flexible and embrace a new perspective.  Of course, we are all longing for the in-person prom that our daughter has attended several times over the past years. She absolutely loved walking the red carpet. Hand in the air, princess waves, and nervously smiling as she anticipates the evening. But this year was different and, for many reasons, the prom was not held here in our area.

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However, along with the Tim Tebow Foundation and some very creative souls, they got busy and made it happen. A prom in a box? Yep. And as unconventional as it may seem, it worked. Generously donated by the Church of the City, a local church in our community, a wrapped box with balloons appeared the afternoon of the prom on our front porch. Inside, among the many items, were sparkling disco lights, a beautiful corsage, and a crown. A red carpet over the steps leading up to our front door set the stage that invited her in for a fabulous evening. How cool that she danced the night away with friends from all over the globe and was crowned Queen at the Night to Shine Prom right here in her own home. 

It is a big deal to be able to participate.  With autism comes anxiety and, in her case, it sometimes keeps her from enjoying events when they happen. She didn’t get to attend the virtual prom the night it first aired because of some struggles.  We were so grateful to know it had been recorded and could be viewed another time or in her case, the next night. 

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Take two. Cue up the recorded prom and she was off to the greatest show on earth – right here in our living room. Attending the Virtual Celebration, she walked that virtual red carpet with such excitement, completely engrossed, looking onward at the cheering crowd, who once again faithfully welcomed her to the Night to Shine Prom. The joy was real and because the event was well thought through with the same continuity as an in-person prom, it was a hit.

Virtual prom? Who would have ever thought?! If this had only been offered in person, she may have missed out, not understanding it was a one-night affair.  Until next time and whether she attends this event at home or in a church setting, a huge thank you to the Tim Tebow Foundation for thinking outside the box or in our case, inside the box, however you want to look at it, we are very grateful for these special nights. 

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