Tim Tebow gave 32,000 people with special needs a night they will never forget last Friday, when his foundation sponsored over 200 special needs proms. Locations for the special needs proms spanned 48 states and eight countries. The events were hosted by over 200 churches, and it took more than 70,000 volunteers to make this “Night to Shine” happen. Tebow took the time to visit proms in New York and Haiti, according to CBS Sports.
The Tim Tebow Foundation was established in 2010 with a mission “to bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.”
The website further states, “The Foundation utilizes the public platform that God has blessed Tim Tebow with to inspire and make a difference in peoples lives throughout the world.”
The Tim Tebow Foundation sponsors other programs that try to meet the needs of other groups. These include Timmy’s Playroom, which allows children dealing with serious illness to play and have fun, and Orphan Care, which “provides life’s essentials to more than 2,700 orphans across 4 different countries.” Tebow’s foundation has also built a hospital in the Philippines. Tebow serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tim Tebow Foundation.
People Magazine accompanied Tim to the proms on Friday night. They described the special needs individuals being cheered on as they walked a red carpet, an area where girls could select a prom dress and get their hair done, and food prepared just for the occasion. Tebow also made sure that the caregivers of those attending the prom were shown appreciation for all they do, providing an exclusive lounge for them, complete with food and drink. There was one notable difference between a typical prom and this one, though. Instead of one prom queen and one prom king being crowned, every special needs person in attendance received a crown. Tim had this to say about the event.
“It’s just so important to me. I’ve always had a burden for people who can’t fight for themselves. The disabled are often bullied and told in a million ways that they’re not important. Well, they are important, and this is a night for them to realize that they are important – and for the community to actually see them and celebrate them… There are people who look at the disabled as being cursed. But they’re now watching them being celebrated. I hope that can change the narrative.”
Of course, a prom isn’t a prom without dancing, and there was plenty of that at this once-in-a-lifetime experience provided by Tebow. Some danced in wheelchairs, and some attendees were deaf and danced to vibrations of the music. However, everyone had a special experience.
Following the “Night to Remember” prom, People Magazine spoke with Tim Tebow and asked him for his thoughts about the night and the special needs people in attendance.
He said, “It was so powerful. We weren’t just throwing a party; we were celebrating life. We’re not in this just to throw parties. We’re in this to show people that they’re special, they’re loved, and that God has a plan for their lives. We’re in it so that people, no matter their needs, understand that they matter. They’re not cursed at all. They are very blessed, and we were blessed to be able to celebrate them.”
Tim Tebow is 28-years-old and a Heisman Trophy winner. Tim is currently working as an analyst for ESPN and the SEC Network. In 2011, Harper Collins published Tebow’s autobiography, Through My Eyes. It spent 24 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was named the number one sports book of 2011 and the bestselling religion book of 2011. Tim is also a spokesperson for Nike, Jockey International, TiVo, and FRS Health Energy.
[Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/Associated Press]