Celebrities often go out of their way to help those less fortunate, and NFL star Tim Tebow is no different. So, when a disabled girl asked Tebow to go to the prom with her, she hoped he would say yes. She certainly didn’t expect this to happen, however.
A big name
Throughout his career, Tebow has become one of the biggest names in the NFL and the MLB, playing for the Denver Broncos, the New York Jets, the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.
As a child, Tebow and his siblings were homeschooled. However, due to American legislation, homeschooled children were allowed to participate in high school sports teams – so naturally, Tebow chose football. He was soon the talk of the town, and with his incredible running speed and his hefty throw, became a wanted player within the school district. With his talent and the title of Florida’s Player of the Year under his belt, Tim Tebow had numerous college football scholarship offers.
His college career
After graduating from his home schooling education, Tim Tebow knew he wanted to continue his football career, so he accepted the University of Florida’s athletic scholarship offer. During his time at college, Tebow was snapped up to play for the famous Florida Gators. Throughout his Freshman year, Tebow was drafted in as backup but soon wowed the coaches and fellow players with his skills and teamwork, and was awarded team captain status during the 2008/2009 season.
Just a few trophies
During his professional football career, Tim Tebow won countless trophies and accolades. In 2007, Tebow was recognized as the best college football player in the United States and was awarded the incredible Heisman Trophy. Although many fans were shocked by his career-change into the world of professional baseball in 2015 – football fans still remember his iconic ‘Tebowing’ move, which involves leaning down on one knee, and lifting one hand up to his face to pray before every game.
The other side of Tebow
Although many of us associate Tim Tebow with his sporting accolades within the world of football and baseball, there is also another side to the sports star. As the son of missionary parents, it’s no surprise that off the pitch, Tebow is dedicated to charity work and philanthropy. In fact, Tebow began his charity work while playing football and studying at college, and even helped to found his own charity while at the University of Florida.
The Tim Tebow Foundation
Although he created his own charity while at college, Tebow spent even more time perfecting it after his graduation – ultimately founding the Tim Tebow Foundation. The Foundation proved even more successful than Tebow envisaged, welcoming over $4 million in donations over the first year. Considering Tebow only expected around $3.5 million, the results were astounding and allowed Tim and the charity to buy hospital beds and equipment for a health facility in Mindanao, a large island in the Philippines.
Closer to home
However, Tim Tebow also wanted to help those a little closer to home. In 2014, the Tim Tebow Foundation created a brand new initiative called the ‘Night to Shine’ which hosts yearly prom nights for teenagers who live with disabilities, to give them their chance to shine. These events are hosted all over the US and have proved immensely popular, because any of these teens may not have been able to attend a prom if it weren’t for Tim.
Three years later
After three hugely successful years, Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine initiative has gone global, with Tim offering teenagers with disabilities from all across the world the chance to have the night of their lives. On February 10, 2017, 75,000 children in 375 churches across the world were able to experience their very own prom night – with the help of a whopping 150,000 volunteers. It was during the New York prom that one girl caught the attention of the sports man…
Eighteen-year-old Judy Adams was born with Down Syndrome and has spent her whole life looking up to one man, her hero, Tim Tebow. Looking past his sports ability, Judy was astounded by how much influence one man could have, and he inspired her own charity work. Since the age of 12, Judy has been collecting money for her own foundation, the Dimes for Downs, and has so far raised an incredible $536,000 to help those with Down’s Syndrome.
Now’s her chance
Before her 2017 Night to Shine prom, Judy Adams thought it would be the perfect opportunity to reach out to the organizer of the event and connect with him. Through her research, Judy knew that Tim did not attend a high school prom during his teenage years due to being homeschooled. So, Judy Adams decided to invite Tim Tebow to the prom with her. And she’s not the only person who’s invited a celebrity to the prom with them…
Just as Rihanna was making it big in the music industry in 2007, she appeared on the popular MTV show, Once Upon A Prom. Richard, the surprised teen, was absolutely dumbstruck when his favorite musical icon stepped out of the limo and asked him to prom. With a beautiful blue dress and a corsage, the pair danced the night away and even posed for the awkward prom photo – which we reckon Richard still has hanging up on his wall.
In 2014, a Pennsylvanian teen contacted the Olympic gold winning snowboarder Shaun White to ask him to the prom with her after learning he was not able to attend his own. Instead of simply asking him on social media, the girl created and posted a full video that was entitled, ‘GoProm?’ However, the teen never heard from White after the post, so she assumed it had gone unnoticed. But it hadn’t. White surprised the girl by turning up and performing with his band.
When 17 year old Cesar Guerro was diagnosed with cancer, his family and friends knew they needed to make sure he got to experience a very special prom. with the help of The Art of Elysium and Kaiser Permanente, they were able to put on a special prom night, especially for him. But that wasn’t the only surprise: High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens showed up to be his date and dance the night away together.
Back in the day, Taylor Swift would have definitely been the kind of prom date you could take home to your parents, and show off in your high school sports hall. That’s exactly what happened to one Swifty fan. As a new student, this guy wanted to impress his new school mates with a stunning prom date to make everyone else jealous, so applied for Once Upon a Prom. And that’s exactly what he got. It definitely made them jealous…
So after reading about other celebs joining their fans, Judy Adams thought ‘why not?’ and contacted Tim Tebow to ask whether he would join her at her Night to Shine prom in New York. However, as a busy man with over 300 ceremonies going on in one night, Tebow just couldn’t make the time to see Judy in person. But for some reason, he just couldn’t forget her and her invitation, so wanted to make it up to her.
Soon after the Night to Shine event, Tim Tebow managed to get a hold of Adams’ mother and told her of the plan he had in mind. He was looking at his calendar and realized that during May he was due to appear alongside Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show while promoting his new book, Know Who You Are. Live Like It Matters. He asked Judy’s mom whether she could visit the studio and watch the taping of the show.
A few secrets
Of course, Judy accepted the offer with open arms – as it was her favorite show, she wasn’t going to miss the chance to see The Tonight Show being filmed! However, Jud’s mom kept a few secrets from her. She didn’t mention that Tebow would be on the show, or that their tickets had been given to them by Tebow himself. To make it seem legitimate, she told Judy that she had won the tickets in a competition, and Judy believed her.
A welcome surprise
On the journey to the studio, Judy became increasingly excited to see her favorite show being made and couldn’t wait to get inside. As soon as she sat down and realized Tebow was the guest, she couldn’t contain herself. She was so star struck, she didn’t even think it was suspicious that her hero just happened to be there when she was. But as soon as Tebow started talking about the Night to Shine, Judy began to suspect something was up…
As Jimmy and Tim began to talk even more about Night to Shine and prom nights, Tim brought up the fact that he had never been to a high school prom – which means he never got to give his date the traditional corsage. Luckily, Jimmy Fallon ‘coincidentally’ had a corsage right under his desk, joking that it was ‘very fashionable’ and never seems to go with any outfit. But it’s a tradition. He needed to give it to someone.
Jimmy and Tim fumbled with the ribbons and the roses in the corsage as they continued their conversation about the finer details of prom nights and Night to Shine before Fallon began to steer their conversation into a new direction – one which involved a member of the audience. As the audience went silent, Fallon prompted that there may be an audience member who Tim wants to give the corsage to. As Tebow took the corsage, he said, “I do.”
Suddenly, Tebow began to tell the story of Judy Adams. He spoke about her incredible charity work, her morals, and her campaigning, as well as the invitation to the prom that she extended to him. Unfortunately, he could not attend the prom night with her in New York, and he apologized profusely for this. However, to make up for it he explained how he invited Judy’s mom to watch the filming of the show, “And she is here, and I am here…”
May I have this dance?
As Tim was speaking, Judy couldn’t contain her excitement and her joy that her hero was acknowledging her. Suddenly, all of the cameras turned towards her and all eyes focused on the incredible teen, her struggles, her achievements, and her invitation. As she became more and more overwhelmed with all of the emotions going on inside of her, Tim Tebow asked her something she would never forget for the rest of her life. “May I have this dance?”
The initial shock
To start with, Judy didn’t believe her ears or her eyes. Tim Tebow asking her to dance with him on television? But as soon as she got over the initial shock, she couldn’t be happier with his question, and couldn’t wait to get on stage. With the audience cheering behind her, Judy rushed onto the stage and jumped into Tebow’s arms and held him tight. After asking whether she was surprised by the situation, she yelled, “Yes!”
A mother’s love
After months of preparation and secrecy, Judy’s mother just couldn’t contain her emotions as she saw her daughter so incredibly happy – her dreams were really coming true right before her very eyes. As Judy and Tim began to slow dance, they were serenaded by the Tonight Show’s resident house band, The Roots. During this moment, Judy forgets that they were on TV, and forgot that there was an audience in front of her, and enjoyed the moment with her hero.
It didn’t stop there
But Tebow didn’t want to stop at a slow dance. Instead, he wanted to give Judy the best night of her life, and took her behind the scenes of The Tonight Show to meet another guest star, Kerry Washington. A few weeks after the best night of her life, Judy also received a copy of Tim Tebow’s book in the post, proving that Tim Tebow would always go above and beyond for his fans, and is one of the kindest celebrities.
A true philanthropist
Tim Tebow’s incredible work with Night to Shine and his amazing gift for Judy is just the start of this sportsman’s philanthropy work. In fact, the Tim Tebow Foundation has five other initiatives, alongside Night to Shine, that help people across the world to have better lives – and Tebow has always been the kind of person to help others no matter his place in the world or his social standing. He instills hope, support, and care to those that need it most.
One of Tim Tebow’s successful initiatives is the W15H program. Just like the popular Make a Wish Foundation, Tim Tebow does everything he can to fulfill the lives of those with life-threatening illnesses and diseases, and those who wish to meet him in the flesh. Throughout this scheme, the charity provides accommodation, care, food and drink, and offers travel costs to those who wish to meet him. They set up once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at Disney World, award shows, sports games and more.
One of Tim Tebow’s most important morals in life is to help children who are in need – and that is exactly what he does with Timmy’s Playroom. You will find these playrooms all across the globe in numerous children’s hospitals, and they have been built with the aim to bring hope, love, and faith to children who suffer from long-term illnesses and have to endure stints in hospital. These rooms offer respite for the parents and allow the kids to truly be kids.
Tebow CURE Hospital
In 2014, Tim Tebow knew that he had to do something else to help the lives of those who needed it, and so partnered up with CURE International to create the Tebow CURE Hospital. This hospital offers groundbreaking orthopedic surgery to children in the Philippines who desperately need the treatment they would not be able to afford on their own. Since 2014, the Tim Tebow Foundation and the CURE Hospital have seen over 4,500 patients and performed over 1,100 surgeries.
Tim Tebow Foundation Orphan Care
Since his childhood days, Tim has always worked with orphans who have either been abandoned by their families or who live on the streets in the Philippines. The Orphan Care program is close to his heart, as he grew up in the Philippines and has seen these problems first hand. To combat this, the care program offers grants to four separate countries, which they then use for shelter, food, education, clothing, and religious studies for the orphans in these countries.
Tim Tebow Foundation Adoption Aid
The Tim Tebow Foundation Adoption Aid is a smaller initiative within the Orphan Care program. This initiative offers financial aid to the generous people across the world who choose to adopt a child who has special needs. But this isn’t just in the Philippines. The Adoption Aid initiative is active in 33 different countries and has so far been extremely successful in those countries, with the initiative providing forever homes to nearly 100 children so far!
Of course, Tim Tebow and the Tim Tebow Foundation could not do all of the marvelous charity work they do without the help of others – because he isn’t a one man band! Since its beginning, the Tim Tebow Foundation has relied on volunteers to keep the charity going, and they absolutely love what they do. Volunteers can sign up to work at the Night to Shine events, or even become an ambassador for the charity. Today, over 21,000 volunteers help out.
For Tim, his career, charity work, philanthropy and his morals all stem from his religion. As a firm believer of God, Tim has been led in his direction and believes it is his duty to help out people like Judy, and those who need it most. Because of this, Tim and the Tim Tebow Foundation heavily rely on churches to help them further in their mission – and in turn, the Tim Tebow foundation will help them and the community.
Tim Tebow Foundation ambassador
By helping to raise funds for the Tim Tebow Foundation and all of their initiatives, these churches can have their own Night to Shine event in the community, and help all of the people in that town to have the best night of their lives. Churches can also become heavily involved in the direction of the money the Tim Tebow Foundation has and can suggest new and improved uses to help even more people around the world!
All in all
There’s no denying that Tim Tebow and the Tim Tebow Foundation has had an almighty effect on the world around us, and Tim’s dedication to the cause is truly breathtaking. By putting on regular events – like a golf tournament that raised over $1 million for the charity – the benefits of the mission continue to grow. Thanks to Tim Tebow and his generosity, people like Judy can have the time of their lives. He truly is one of the best sportsmen and philanthropists.