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Shine on: Shining Stars to hold prom for people with special needs

Ball gowns, boutonnieres and a lot of glitter and glam are what prom is all about. 

For most teenagers, prom is a time to get dressed up and enjoy dancing and a fun night out with friends. But for the hundreds of teenagers and adults in Hartselle and Morgan County who have special needs, prom is sometimes just another event that is too difficult to attend. 

Staci Wells and the Shining Stars want to change that.  

To that end, Hartselle’s Shining Stars will hold a Stars Over Hollywood Prom for people with special needs Oct. 8 at Sparkman Civic Center. This event is for people 14 and older.  

Similar to the Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine, Wells said the goal is to draw a crowd. Programs from Decatur, Huntsville, Cullman, Albertville and Madison have been invited to participate.  

Wells said the local organization decided to offer the prom because of the changes to the Night to Shine event. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was changed to a drive-thru prom where attendees could not gather together to celebrate. Shining Stars will not provide buddies for the event. Wells said attendees are responsible for reaching out to a friend or relative to bring them.     

From glitzy and glamourous, to comfortable and casual, Wells said the event’s dress code is about what guests feel comfortable wearing. The Shining Stars program will offer a formal closet for those who would like to borrow a dress or sports coat for the event.  There is no rental fee, but garments must be dry cleaned before they are returned.  

Refreshments will be served but if there are special dietary restrictions, attendees are encouraged to bring their own snacks. Because the event is a Hollywood theme, attendees will receive an Oscar instead of a crown.  The presentations will begin at 7:30 p.m. 

Attendees must register for the event no later than Sept 12.  Registration can be done at the Sparkman Civic Center, located at 406 Nance Ford Rd., or by emailing Wells at