For 75,000 "queen and king" teens with special needs, the annual Tim Tebow Foundation "Night to Shine" prom was the place to be Friday evening, across 375 host churches in 50 states, 11 countries and six continents. Making it even better in Haiti and in Jacksonville, Fla. was that Christian athlete and former Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow attended those events to add his personal, special blessings.
Tebow escorted some of the ladies down the red carpet and took selfies with a lot of the people who were there in northern Florida, reports News4JAX.
Teenagers 14 years and older at the event had a great time at the prom, and many of the teachers, counselors and parents who came to support the kids walked away knowing they played a part in something very special that the kids would never forget.
The multi-location prom events were supported by 150,000 volunteers, according to the foundation's website.
"Their faces light up. They glow," said teacher Barbara Johns. "They're so happy walking down the red carpet and having people clap for them is just amazing."
Night to Shine business partners included ARS Rescue Rooter, Chick-Fil-A, Secure Search, Shindigz, Firehouse Subs, Prom Guy and Publix Super Market Charities.
Tebow started the foundation in 2010, with a mission to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. "This foundation, and all of our outreach initiatives, were primarily created to show God's love to children around the world," he said.
"We just left our first Night to Shine here in Haiti," Tebow said in a video posted to Instagram. "Tonight was life-changing. For me to be able to dance with all of these kids [and] have so much fun cheering them on, and just love them and show the love of God to every single one of them, because love He loves us all so much."
Every guest of Night to Shine entered their prom on a red carpet greeted by friendly paparazzi. Guests had access to hair, makeup and shoe-shining stations, along with corsages, boutonnieres, a karaoke room and dancing.
According to a local ABC news station in Texas, the elaborate event was hosted by just 44 churches in 2015 before growing to 200 in 2016. For this year's events, the 32,000 special needs attendees from last year are expected to grow in the thousands, reports The Christian Post.
In 2015, Tebow made surprise appearances at events held in North Carolina and South Carolina where he met fans, walked down the red carpet, posed for pictures and helped shine attendees' dress shoes.
The Tim Tebow Foundation contributes more than $3 million in financial grants to assist churches in hosting Night to Shine in their communities.
On the foundation Facebook page, Tina Best Bassett stated Tebow "has never won a super bowl but instead he is winning people for the Kingdom of Christ! Love me some Tim Tebow! He is hands down the best!"
"Football and baseball are your platforms, but I believe that this is what God made you to do!" agreed Kim Chiurazzi on Facebook. "You are a man of many talents, but a man with an even bigger heart! God bless you, Tim Tebow. Keep on doing such good for others! You make such a difference!"