Tim Tebow to Hold Special Needs Proms Across U.S. On Valentine’s Day Weekend

( [email protected] ) Jan 20, 2015 04:58 PM EST
Former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow will sponsor four dozen proms across the United States for special-needs teenagers on Valentine’s Day weekend.
Photo: ESPN

Former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow will sponsor four dozen proms across the United States for special-needs teenagers on Valentine's Day weekend.

The "Night to Shine" proms, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, will take place on Feb. 13 at churches across the country. According to Fox News, the 27-year-old devout Christian said the special night will honor teens who struggle with a variety of disabilities.

"We are so excited to be able to create this opportunity for thousands of people around the country with special needs," Tebow said in a statement. "This event perfectly fits our mission to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need."

The foundation's website described the events that would happen in the proms.

"Each prom will include special elements, consisting of a red carpet entrance with paparazzi, limousine rides, hair and makeup beauty stations, shoeshines, a dance floor, food and much more," the Tim Tebow Foundation wrote. "At least 100 people with special needs are expected to be in attendance at each church for this nationwide event."

The "Night to Shine" proms are also taking place to mark the foundation's five-year anniversary, according to its website. So far, a good amount of churches have signed up to host these proms.

According to Michael Haverluck of One News Now, the proms are free and open to special-needs children who are at least 16 years old. A special ceremony will also be held where the teens can receive either a crown or tiara.

"There, they will be introduced to a buddy who will individually accompany them as hosts throughout the evening of the prom," Haverluck wrote.

Fox News reported that the event is scheduled to play out "at 49 other churches in 26 states as well as Amazing Grace International Ministries, in Nairobi, Kenya, and Ekisa Ministries, in Jinja, Uganda." Debbie Fasano and her team of 11 people at a participating Illinois church known as The Crossing were making preparations and special accommodations for about 300 VIPs.

"Our goal is to make every individual feel special and loved that night, as if they're the only ones there," Fasano said to Fox News.

According to Fox News, the plan for the Illinois church to host the event started to fall into place. A church member who owned a catering business will supply the food, and hundreds of congregants signed up to volunteer as "buddies" or help out at the event.

"The whole idea has just been amazing," Fasano said. "The response from people who care for special needs kids has been overwhelming."

Fasano admitted to Fox News that while she wasn't into football, she had new respect for the former football player.

"It is pretty amazing that he has devoted his life to serving Christ, and doing it through serving people," Fasano said of Tebow. "It's inspiring."

Tebow emphasized to One News Now that his efforts to help children in the name of Jesus is not about him. He stressed that the focus is on "the restoration and healing of youth."

"I hope that when I'm 90 years old, I've accomplished a legacy that isn't all about me," Tebow said in a People magazine interview back in Nov. 2014. "I hope it's a legacy about the people who our Foundation helps."

Fox News reported that his foundation builds playrooms in children's hospitals all over the world, grants sick children's wishes and helps with the adoption process. In addition to hosting proms for special-needs children, Tebow's foundation has helped CURE International build a five-story hospital in the southern Philippines named the Children's Tebow CURE Hospital, according to One News Now.

"I was born there," Tebow said in reference to his family's missionary work in the Philippines. "We'll have this hospital where we can help kids who are hurting; healing them physically but encouraging them emotionally and spiritually as well. We can make a difference in their lives."


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