Red Carpet Event 2017
By Karen Bond
Ah, the Red Carpet Event for Middle School girls. One of my favourite events of the year that we do for our kids. This year was the second annual event. I know that after last year, there was the immediate thought, “We have to do this again”, and I can tell you that again after this year, we all had that very same thought again. So, what can I tell you about this year’s fun night?
Can I tell you that we had 40 girls from our church family and community registered to attend, but on the actual night we had 46 girls in the gym? Trying on fancy dresses, getting their hair, nails and makeup done by other ladies from the church and eating fun food. They had professional photos taken, heard an encouraging talk, and there were door prizes and gift bags.
And despite having 39 ladies from our church family register to volunteer, we had over 40 women show up on the night of the event willing to do anything that needed to be done. To set up, work in the kitchen, help with makeup, nails and hair, give direction and encouragement in choosing a dress, serve food, take photos, clean up but most importantly have conversations and make connections with our beautiful girls. And these lovely volunteers weren’t just from our church family; we had women from the community come and help out wherever there was space to help.
Each girl had a golden star with their name handwritten on it and posted up on a wall in the gym. The girls and ladies took time to write something encouraging about each girl, and then they got to take their star home. ‘Beauty-full’, ‘nice smile’, ‘kind’, ‘wise’, and ‘fun’ were just some of the words I saw. What a great opportunity for each of us to take a minute to encourage someone else in a concrete way.
Carolyn Wiebe was the speaker for the night and she talked to the girls about being in middle school. How it can be kind of difficult. Lots of changes with your friends, your body, your emotions; finding yourself feeling like a kid, but also like an adult at the same time. She made the point that there are some ways where being a middle schooler is even more difficult than being an adult, and that you wouldn’t find many adults who would want to go back to this stage (isn’t that the truth!!). But, she encouraged the girls that in the middle of all this change and craziness, to be kind. To be kind to yourself, and to be kind to your friends.
And then, after dressing up, getting made up, having a professional photo taken, eating up and being encouraged, the girls were ready to walk the runway. The girls paired up, the music started, and off they went! Timidly at first, but then they got going! Their confidence soared as walking the runway turned into strutting on the runway which turned into dancing down the runway which turned into posing on the runway. What a treat! Parents were invited to come 15 minutes before the end of the night so they could see their daughters in their finest, and there were at least another 30 parents (lots of proud dads with their cameras), mainly from the community, that came in and cheered the girls on as they shone. As I stood there and watched, I thought, “This. This is why we do this night! To invite people in. To stand with them. To make them feel loved. To make them feel welcome.”
I’d love to tell you about one of the girls who posted on Instagram that she only came because she heard there would be food and fancy dresses. She said she came out with a whole new look, physically and mentally. She felt amazing, but most of all, she felt special, beautiful, and most of all loved.
And this, my SBC family, is why we do this night. So thank you. Thank you for your prayers for these girls. Thank you for your help with setting up. Thank you for showing up, smiling and loving on these beautiful young women. Thank you for cleaning up! Thank you for supporting the vision of Red Carpet night. Beautiful. Created. Loved.
“Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.” Romans 12:2 (the Voice)
Photo Credit: Angela Potts and Karen Bond (Also, click the link below to view another blog post about the event by Heidi McKelvey who took professional, individual photos of the girls.)