Tim Tebow has a busy schedule in February. In addition to speaking engagements, his foundation is sponsoring the annual Night to Shine for special-needs youth. The February 7 event “is an unforgettable prom night experience… for people with special needs ages 14 and older,” according to his website.
Hundreds of churches across the globe are expected to host many thousands of “honored guests.” But there is another reason that makes Night to Shine distinctive for the former NFL quarterback Tebow and his new bride, 2017 Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, who were married on January 20. Tebow and his future wife met at a 2018 Night to Shine event in South Africa, he told Hoda Kobt and Kathie Lee Gifford on the NBC Today show during an appearance later that year.
“Her sister has special needs, so we invited them to Night to Shine in South Africa,” Tebow said. “We kind of met and started talking through that and haven’t stopped.”
Nel-Peters’ sister Franje, 13, had special needs and died in 2019 after battling cerebellar agenesis. The neurological condition involves having an underdeveloped or undersized cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls movement.
During last year’s Night to Shine events, 655 host churches worldwide – in all 50 U.S. states and 24 other nations – welcomed about 100,000 honored guests. Some 200,000 volunteers supported the effort.
As of Jan. 27, 720 churches had enrolled to host an event. A complete list of participating churches is available on the foundation’s website. Churches send invitations to honored guests who are referred. The events include a red-carpet entrance for the formally attired honored guests, which many of the churches provide for the attendees. There is also a dinner and a dance. Each honored guest is crowned as a king or queen.
Tebow is also scheduled to speak at the upcoming Kansans for Life Valentine Banquet,. The banquet will be held on February 11 at the Overland Park Convention Center. For reservations or additional information, visit www.KFLBanquet.com.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice