The athlete and TV personality is planning to fly across the country to visit several prom locations
This Friday will be one of the best days of the year for Tim Tebow — and he can hardly contain his excitement.
On Feb. 9, the athlete and TV personality will preside over the fourth annual Night to Shine, a worldwide prom for people with special needs. For that one night, people with mental and physical disabilities will be celebrated. They’ll walk the red carpet while dressed in tuxes and gowns. There will be hair, makeup and shoeshine stations. And, of course, there will be dancing.
And as always, at the end of the night, all the participants will be crowned as prom kings and queens.
“I’m just so excited about it,” Tebow, 30, tells PEOPLE. “It really is my favorite night of the year. It’s definitely the most important thing I do — more important than sports, more important than any TV appearance. This is something that’s really helping to change the culture of how people with special needs are seen by their community.”
Tebow says that this year’s Night to Shine is the biggest one yet. This year, the event will be hosted by 540 churches across the United States, as well as 16 different countries on six continents. More than 175,000 volunteers will welcome 90,000 honored guests and share the same incredible prom experience simultaneously on one night around the world.
This year, more corporate sponsors have helped than ever before. For the second consecutive year, American Residential Services is the global partner for the event. Additionally, Men’s Wearhouse is providing a special event rate for designer tuxedos for honored guests, while also donating a portion of proceeds to the Tim Tebow Foundation. Other sponsors include 3 Musketeers, Firehouse Subs, SecureSearch, Shindigz and South Wisconsin Thrivent Member Network.
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Tebow will make surprise visits at several of the events. (He has told PEOPLE all about his travel plans, but the locations are top secret!)
“These people go through life not being celebrated,” he tells PEOPLE. “This is one night where they’re all crowned as prom kings and queens. It’s something I’m very passionate about. And we’re finding that communities are starting to treat these people different all year around. It’s about changing the culture and showing that these people have value. They’re important. They’re important to God, and they’re important to me.”
To find a prom near you or watch the prom unfold live, check out the Night to Shine website.