Tim Tebow creates another Night to Shine for Special Folks
By Celeste M. Hart
A Night to Shine, an annual prom theme celebration for special needs persons, such as Down syndrome, Autism, brain injuries, amputees and Asperger’s, held its sixth party, Friday, February 7th, at Elevation Church, University City, one of the 721 churches nationally and internationally to hold this event. Tim Tebow, former NFL quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner and dedicated philanthropist created the magical night, he said, “to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkness hour of need.”
The evening, fit for royalty, is celebrated in all 50 states and 34 countries with about 115,000 attendees, donned in formal wear, dance, sing, smile and shine, constantly for three hours, at no cost. Everyone has a prom date volunteer that caters to their every need, food, light-up rings, necklaces, wands and crowns. Parents and caregivers are provided with the rare opportunity to either relax in a separate room or join the party. And, Fly Ty, radio personality and event’s host for five years, keeps the ball rolling, as he dances through the crowd with many reaching for hugs and pictures.
“I haven’t been out in so long. We had a ball and cannot wait until next year,” said Meda Jenkins-White, a first timer and mother of Melajah.
Tebow’s motivation comes from his parents’ missionary summers in the Philippines where, at age 15, he met a young boy, Sherwin, whose feet were on backwards, villagers considered a curse. Tebow said he held the child which caused to villagers to become more accepting of Sherwin.
“I learned the responsibility to give back from my times in the Philippines,” said Tebow.
The Tim Tebow Foundation missionaries include, the Tebow CURE Hospital in the Philippines, provides financial assistance for adoptions of special needs children, Timmy Playrooms built in hospitals and makes wishes come true for special persons with life-threatening illnesses.
His controversial practice of genuflecting in prayer on the football field that became known as "Tebowing" caused Tebow backlash and some say it hurt his football career. Now, Tebow plays outfielder for the Syracuse Mets, a minor league baseball team.
“I never did it to celebrate a touch-down I would get on a knee to thank my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, Tebow praying alone in a conspicuous way, however, struck people as him trying to attract attention either to himself or to his cause. USA Today, June 2018.
Tim ‘Tebowed’ for all at the Night to Shine and drew attention to his cause and to those who needed the smiles.
ARS Rescue Rooter and One Share Health partnered with Tebow for this event and next year’s will be held, February 12, 2021, always the week before Valentine’s Day.