Gratitude for Tim Tebow: My Daughter’s “Night to Shine” Thanks to the Tim Tebow Foundation by Becky Jones
The Tim Tebow Foundation is committed to celebrating people with special needs. In 2014 the foundation launched “Night to Shine” with a simple vision: work with churches around the country to provide an unforgettable prom experience for people with special needs ages 14 and older. The foundation provides each selected host church with materials to aid in planning and implementing their local event. The Tim Tebow Foundation has contributed more than $3.5 million to the movement.
This year my daughter, Brook, 19, who is Intellectually Disabled (MR) had the opportunity to attend Night to Shine in Cicero, N.Y. We learned of the event through a local organization. We went through the application process and Brook found out she would be a participant.
The journey began with dress shopping with Mom and Dad. With Brook’s sensory issues, the feeling of certain materials drives her crazy. This was not an easy job, but we did it. She chose her buddy chaperone. This was easy – her cousin Britney has been by her side since the beginning and was the perfect choice. Then Brook asked another cousin, Monica, to do her hair.
Monica is the only person allowed to touch Brook’s head. The discussions continued over the next few weeks as we had to prepare Brook every day about what was to be expected; she is a very nervous girl.
And then the big night was upon us. She was dressed, her hair was done and her nerves were racing. When we arrived there were limos lined up to take everyone for a ride. Brook was too nervous for this but for everyone who went for a ride, their faces lit right up. When we entered, there was a red carpet lined with people on both sides welcoming each participant. The excitement and joy on their faces is something I will never forget.
There was a glamour room for hair and a sensory room if someone just needed quiet or time to relax. There was a large dining hall decorated to the gills, and a huge dance floor for everyone to get down. They even had a respite room for parents. But the best part: every participant was given a corsage or boutonniere, and at the end of the night each and every one of them was crowned King or Queen with a beautiful tiara or crown.
This event was truly a night to remember. To see the joy and happiness on everyone’s faces was amazing. There are no words that can explain the way I felt watching these wonderful people in a world where they can be themselves and everyone is kind. Thank you, Tim Tebow, and everyone at your foundation, for giving kids with special needs a Night to Shine. You are making a difference.