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Thousands of celebrants with special needs enjoy prom at Tim Tebow Foundation's worldwide "Night to Shine"
Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Thousands of celebrants with special needs enjoy prom at Tim Tebow Foundation's worldwide "Night to Shine"

Churches around the world hosted extraordinary prom night experiences for people with special needs Friday night.

"It's a dream come true to see so many people come together from around the world to experience this one night, and to see each face reflect the love of Christ in their joyful smiles and beautiful spirits," retired Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow tweeted Friday during one of the events.

More than 600 churches in 46 countries offered Night to Shine events, Miss Universe and Miss South Africa 2017, Demi-Leigh Tebow, tweeted on the eve of the big night. Demi-Leigh Tebow is Tim Tebow's wife.

For the first time since 2020, Night to Shine was held in person this year, to the delight of all. Distanced celebrations were held during the COVID pandemic.

Participants who were unable to attend Night to Shine in person were able to experience the event virtually.

"We still feel in person is best, but there are those like my own son, where right now in their life, going to an in-person event where it's really loud and really big, really bright with lots of people is an impossibility," said Ellen Gardner, mom of a Night to Shine King and TTF Shine On Manager.

"COVID can cancel a lot of things, but it can't cancel worth and value and love for people," first underclassman Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow said when announcing 2023's event.

Night to Shine 2023 is BACK IN PERSON!youtu.be

"Seeing the faces of thousands of Kings and Queens light up as they are loved and celebrated…knowing each one of them is being shown the truth that they are significant, valuable, and loved…I can't help but be emotional," Tebow said in a tweet.

Night to Shine is a complimentary event sponsored by local churches worldwide, according to the Tim Tebow Foundation. The prom-like events for people aged 14 and older with special needs include red carpet entrances, limousine rides, catered dinners, a respite room for parents and caregivers, and a crowning ceremony where each guest receives a crown or tiara.

Night to Shine is a project of the Tim Tebow Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity. The organization's mission is "to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need." It is part of the organization's larger special needs ministry.

The Foundation's other projects include anti-human trafficking efforts, orphan care, and providing physical and spiritual care for children with profound medical needs,

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