Tim Tebow wants people with special needs to be "celebrated, valued and loved for who they are"

By Steve Helling
December 07, 2017 12:50 PM
Credit: The Tim Tebow Foundation

Tim Tebow is all about the prom — and has released an interactive 360-degree video to show everyone how awesome it is.

The athlete and TV personality first talked to PEOPLE in 2015 about a new idea: He and his foundation would create Night to Shine, a worldwide prom for people with special needs. For one night, people with mental and physical disabilities would be celebrated. They would walk the red carpet while dressed in tuxes and gowns. There would be hair, makeup and shoe shine stations. And, of course, there would be dancing.

It was successful beyond Tebow’s wildest dreams. In 2015, there were 44 simultaneous prom events for 7,000 people with special needs. The following year, Night to Shine grew to 201 locations. In 2018, there will be locations in 16 different countries.

“Night to Shine is one of my best nights of the year,” Tebow told PEOPLE last year. “It’s amazing to watch these people — who go through life never being celebrated — having one night where they’re prom kings and queens.”

But not everybody can go to a Night to Shine event. To fully convey the purpose of the event, the Tim Tebow Foundation partnered with an immersive media company to film the story of Tori, a 19-year-old girl with Down syndrome who lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with her grandmother.

The video, seen below, follows Tori as she prepares for the prom — and ends with her Night to Shine experience.

For Tebow, hearing the stories of prom-goers is the most rewarding part of Night to Shine. “Every person who attends Night to Shine has their own incredible, unique background and story,” Tebow says. “Tori’s story is one of thousands, each one as significant as the next.”

Tebow says that the phenomenal growth of Night to Shine is gratifying. “It’s our passion to see this event in every city and every town,” he tells PEOPLE. “But at the end of the day, it’s not about huge numbers. It’s about the huge impact we can have on individual lives when they are celebrated, valued and loved for who they are.”

To volunteer at a prom near you – or to refer a guest – check out the Night to Shine website. To see the video on Facebook, click HERE.