Pay it Forward

Sweet fundraiser benefits ‘Night to Shine’

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(Supplied Content)

A few weeks ago, Kitchen Sink and Renee’s Cake Shoppe – both located on Main Street in Franklin – hosted a baking contest and sale to raise money for “Night to Shine”, a Tim Tebow Foundation event that takes place annually in February. The prom-night experience is held world-wide at various locations and is a “centered on God’s love ministry for people with special needs, ages 14 and older,” according to the national Night to Shine organization.

Judges for the Sweet Fall Bake-Off included Lexi Williams, Chip Godwin, Heidi Hunter, Peggy Vance, George Young, and Dave Linn. Winners were:

– 1st Place Winner – Cake: Ashlyn Albers
-2nd Place Winner – Cake: Jacqueline Hannan
-3rd Place Winner – Cake: Debra Lamb

-1st Place Winner – Cookie: Theresa Holland
-2nd Place Winner – Cookie: Chris Dove
-3rd Place Winner (s) TIE – Cooke: Tracy Nelson/ Christy Mathis

-1st Place Winner – Candy: Jennifer Hendrick
-2nd Place Winner – Candy: Robin Resch
-3rd Place Winner – Candy: Theresa Holland

Coordinator Cheryl Richter pointed out the need for funds from fundraising efforts, “Our prom budget is about $14,000, which covers expenses such as dinner for our guests/volunteers, decorations, guest gifts, guest corsages and boutonnieres, guest crowns and tiaras, registration supplies, dry cleaning expenses, rent for our storage unit, and rent for our wardrobe building. Our Night to Shine prom is fully paid for by fundraisers, donations, guest sponsors, and our local sponsors: Wayne and Brenda Moss, First Bank, Macon Citizens Habilities, Ann Ross, Tom and Genita Selby, Sleep USA Mattress, Vignette Realty, Bryson Burt Home Loans, H&H Farmstand, The UPS Store (Al & Laura Falcon), Kathy Smith, Gary and Kristi Gray-Brown, Marilyn Jones, MoveMore Fitness, Nani’s Pizza & Pasta Bar, and John and Betty Scotto.”

Richter added, “Without the generosity of our community, there is no way we could put on this prom every year. At our most recent fundraiser, the Sweet Fall Bake-Off Competition, we raised a total of $862. Our next fundraiser will be on January 30, 2024 at Fat Buddies. A portion of the sales from that day will be donated to Night to Shine and we will also be having a bake sale coinciding with this fundraiser.”

Richter also expressed a need for volunteers – especially during the “Night to Shine” event in February.

“As you can imagine, we need a lot of volunteers to be able to put on this event every year. I still need six more volunteers to help with our food service. I’m also in need of about 45 more ‘Buddies.’ We are expecting 115 guests this year and each guest is assigned a Buddy to accompany them throughout the evening. Buddy responsibilities include eating dinner with them, taking them to photo ops, dancing with them, and crowning them King/Queen of the prom at the designated time.”

She further explained that Buddies must be at least 16 years of age. Anyone interested in volunteering can email Richter at [email protected] and request the volunteer registration forms. Volunteers must fill out a registration form, sign a liability waiver, and fill out a background check form. Plus, they must also attend one of two training sessions that will be held in January and also attend an orientation meeting at the Moss Valley Venue on Thursday, Feb. 8.

Night to Shine is always held on the Friday before Valentine’s Day, so next year’s prom will be on Friday, February 9, at the Moss Valley Venue at 1145 Patton Road in Franklin.