Tim Tebow's 'Night to Shine' draws support from 500 churches in 2018

(YouTube/timtebowfoundation)Tim Tebow is seen hugging attendees of "Night to Shine" in a screen capture of a video from his foundation.

The Tim Tebow Foundation has announced on Monday that more than 500 churches across the U.S. and some foreign countries have agreed to host the "Night to Shine" prom events in 2018.

The event, which is a prom night experience for young people with special needs, was launched by the foundation with the aim of "bringing faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day."

The "Night to Shine" has seen a tenfold increase in support since it was launched in 2015. This year, the proms were hosted by 375 churches around the world, according to The Christian Post.

The next proms will be taking place simultaneously on Feb. 9, 2018 in all 50 states and 15 countries around the world.

Tebow, a Jacksonville native who starred at Nease High in St. Johns County, said that he was inspired to help people with special needs after he met a boy in the Philippines.

"I met a boy named Sherwin who would impact my life more than anyone I have ever met," the former Heisman-winning quarterback said on his foundation's website.

"Sherwin was born with his feet on backwards and was viewed as 'cursed' to his village. When the people saw me hold Sherwin, they realized that the good news of Jesus Christ applies to everyone," he went on to say.

The star athlete makes surprise visits at as many proms as possible and he had visited host locations in three different states in 2017, as well as a special international visit in Haiti for the official Night to Shine kick-off.

"This is so much more than a prom, it is a time to celebrate people, to celebrate life and to tell each King and Queen that they have great purpose and value," he said, according to Action News Jax.

Crestview Church of Christ in Waco, Texas has been selected as one of the churches that will be hosting the event in 2018.

Jack Whiddon, community minister at Crestview, said that the church is teaming up with Elite Therapy Group to ensure that the needs of the attendees are met while making sure that they have an enjoyable experience at the event.

"We'll have the red carpet, limousines, hair and makeup that the girls can come in and have done for them and also shoe shine for the guys. We've got karaoke room, games rooms, we've got a room for the caregivers who need to stay," he said.

The organizers are planning to go to area schools to look for volunteers to help with the event, but those interested will also be able to register on the church's website on Nov. 1.

Tebow, who began playing baseball last year after being signed by the New York Mets, has pursued many charitable efforts through the foundation that he established in 2010.

He recently spoke to a crowd of about 2,000 at the Clemente Center at Florida Institute of Technology, in which he stressed the importance of faith and teamwork, while also featuring a silent auction on Tebow-related sports items.

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