63ºF

Proms held across country for people with special needs

Tim Tebow Foundation, volunteers put together event

CLERMONT, Fla. – A labor of love took the nation by storm Friday night, as proms were held all across the country to bring joy to the lives of people with special needs.

It was an effort put together by volunteers, including a famous one -- Florida Gators legend, Tim Tebow.

More than 200 guests, ranging in age from 16 to 65, sauntered up the red carpet leading to the Real Life Church in Clermont.

All guests were crowned and spent the night being treated like kings and queens, along with their parents or caretakers.

"Prom is amazing. I like it," said 17-year-old Sidge Taylor, who might never go to his prom at Eustis High School. But Friday night he's a star.

At 200 churches around the world, it was one "night to shine," a second annual event coordinated by the Tim Tebow Foundation.

It was an event that nearly brought Debbie Smalt to tears as she escorted her daughter, Tori, to her first, and perhaps only, prom night.

"I can't put it in words. She always wanted to go to prom, didn't know how it would happen," Smalt said. "It's amazing. I just really appreciate everyone who is involved. I don't know how to say thank you."

Lead Pastor Justin Miller said, as a dad, he knows just how hard it can be.

"I have a special needs daughter, myself, and just to see what this does for everybody that's here, it's incredible," Miller said.

That's why he said the event was as much for the honored guests as it was for their parents and guardians.