More than 100 teens and adults with special needs experienced prom night thanks to the Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine. It’s an event that takes place in more than a dozen countries on the same day, Feb. 8, and hosted for the first time locally at Sanibel Community Church.
“The evening was a remarkable success because so many very special people were able to experience God’s love for them through the hearts and hands of several hundred volunteers from all over the community,” said local Night to Shine organizer Sharon Miller, who, along with her husband Jerry, runs Trailways Camp for those with special needs.
Jerry is part of Sanibel Captiva Lions, along with his son Ben, one of whom Trailways Camp is dedicated. Lions eagerly volunteered for many positions, including famously parking cars and Bill Sadd announcing each participant as they stepped onto the red carpet.
Prom night began with a trip to the beauty salon and shoe shine station. Guests were presented a corsage or boutonniere and arrived in a limousine for a walk up the red carpet. After a prom photo, they enjoyed music, dancing, a meal and other activities. “The highlight of the evening was when each and everyone of them was crowned king or queen of the prom,” said Miller.
During the event, parents and caregivers were hosted in the church’s Fellowship Hall, where they were able to enjoy a meal and have time to relax or enjoy special activities as they watched prom night through live stream.
Tim Tebow, a former professional football quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, created the foundation to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. In 2014, Night to Shine was launched with the vision of working with churches around the country to provide an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love for people with special needs, ages 14 and older.