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Tim Tebow's foundation hosts 'Night To Shine' prom for teens with disabilities

Tim Tebow's foundation hosts 'Night To Shine' prom for teens with disabilities

Nathan Miller, senior biblical and theological studies major, announced guests as they entered the Royal Oak Forum and red carpet areas for the event.

"It's been a passion of ours to host this event and reach out to the special needs community", said Bouillon.

Participants dance at Night To Shine Friday night at Lima's First Assembly of God Church. Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Centennial was one of those churches.

Organizers say the church was one of more than 350 congregations around the world to participate in the event.

Just like every other prom the evening started with hair and make-up for the ladies and shined shoes for the gentlemen. They also lined up to get photos taken with Miss Iowa Kelly Koch.

"Once the word got out. the response was incredible", she said. "We have paparazzi that are all there taking pictures and screaming their names and having a good time".

"(The Tim Tebow Foundation) provides the gift bags for them. "I volunteered for Night to Shine because one of my passions is loving people who were created differently than myself, and having a night that was exclusively devoted to making these individuals feel attractive, handsome, and extraordinary was something that I wanted to be apart of", said Hungate.

The event was free to the guests and their dates and families and featured everything from a catered dinner to dancing with a live DJ. County Commissioner Ed Wolfe, whose office covered the cost of the venue, even got in on the dancing.

"We have a quiet room for those who mainly have sensory issues ..."

"The best part of tonight is bringing friends out to this prom and showing them how to cut the rug and dance", Tipton said.

Twenty-three year old Drew Chagnon has done this dance before.

"It has doubled in size this year", said host Kim Cicero. Instead of one couple crowned prom royalty, everyone was king or queen, and they had the crown or tiara to prove it. In Norfolk, 101 registered for the event. While Tebow fans and Tebow haters alike will continue to keep a close eye on his athletic career, the southpaw's off the field victory-Night to Shine is undoubtedly a grand slam.

Some of the adults, teens and children appeared as excited as the guests they were awaiting. The "Night to Shine" prom is coming up this weekend in Daphne! "We'll see what next year looks like".

"We have learned that (the guests) really like stability".

"I've heard about this for a few years and I just wanted to come and check it out", said Garrett Brumfield, disability advocate. "There are no inhibitions and no one is anxious about what anyone thinks", Davis said.

Longview Point Church event coordinators said it's a night of fun with a focus on faith.

Austin took it from there. While fire marshal codes limit the number of people in the building, Brown said they are looking for possible ways to expand it next year.

"It's gotten really huge", Glover said.

"We had to get approved through the Tim Tebow Foundation, and once we got that we got to work", Bynum said.

Austin - with the help of church staff - organizes the hiring of caterers, photographers, stylists and massage therapists and arranges all of the activities.

Kadusky and her boyfriend Shawn Pike couldn't wait to spend the evening together. Most were student volunteers from St. Croix Lutheran.

For Austin, this is the most rewarding event that the church has ever coordinated.

The prom is held each year close to Valentine's Day and according to the Tim Tebow Foundation their goal is to "change Valentine's Day from simply a celebration of love, to a celebration of God's love for people with special needs".



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