OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — One week ago, royalty was in Ozark as kings and queens danced the night away when Ozark First United Methodist Church hosted the worldwide Night to Shine event.
“A person with disabilities sometimes is limited in what they can do and with the help of faith-based organizations like this it works out quite well,” said Night to Shine guest Roger Haburey.
In order to make the night as magical as possible, lots of behind-the-scenes preparations had to happen, but that is always easier said than done.
“On my way up, about the time I got to Hartford, I realized I was short a shirt and a tie,” said caregiver Laurin Wheelock. “I got one brother, we raced to Men’s Wearhouse to get a shirt and tie, we went to the florist to pick up flowers for the girls. It’s the first year we’ve done that and they were very excited about that.”
Once the night officially began, guests received the full royalty treatment. Horse-drawn carriage rides, official portraits and crown jewels were just a few of the night’s surprises. All of which resulted in big smiles and happy memories.
“Tonight I’ve actually jumped on a wagon that I have not been on in years, (it was) one of the best parts of this whole thing tonight,” Haburey said.
Guests weren’t the only ones being taken in by the magic, another group that sat watching from the sidelines had a front-row seat to it all.
“It makes me feel good,” said volunteer Chuck Auman. “I certainly didn’t do it, I’m not much to brag about, but I enjoy being a part of it. I think it’s a marvelous event for all of us. I haven’t seen anybody that hasn’t had a smile on their face and that makes me feel good.”
“It blesses me that God can show us that love is everywhere and that He just takes care of everybody and it just turns darkness into warmth,” said Wheelock. “You just can’t help but glow and watch them.”
Magic, laughter and fun. All of which was found in abundance at this year’s Night to Shine.