JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The red carpet was rolled out at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena for a special celebration Friday night offering those with developmental disabilities an unforgettable prom night experience.
The Tim Tebow Foundation hosts the "Night to Shine" event that thousands of guests from across Northeast Florida attend. Pam Tebow, who is former Florida Gator Tim Tebow's mother, said it started after her son took a mission trip to the Philippines while he was in high school.
"He met someone with special needs, and it just impacted him so much," Pam Tebow said.
She said that's when her son came up with the idea of an annual prom night for people with special needs across 50 states and 24 different countries. Pam Tebow said the event is also how her son met his fiancée, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.
"They actually met through 'Night to Shine' because she has a special-needs sister," Pam Tebow said.
For the guests of honor, it's limo rides, makeup, suits, dresses, karaoke and dancing.
The event brings blessings not for just the teenagers but parents, like Mark Gressman, also walk away knowing they played a part in something so big, the kids would never forget.
"Just seeing her enjoy it, she looks forward to it. It's very special," said Mark Gressman.