Photo courtesy of Shannon Sullivan

Photo courtesy of Shannon Sullivan


By Kim Constantinesco

Valentine’s Day was on Sunday, but love got an early jump on its holiday thanks to Tim Tebow.

Tebow and his foundation sponsored a worldwide prom on Friday called “Night to Shine,” which gave more than 32,000 people with special needs the chance to be kings and queens, and dance the night away.

One queen was 29-year-old Shannon Sullivan, who attended the event at Changepoint Church in Anchorage, Alaska. Sullivan and her date, who is “just a friend,” were greeted by a red carpet, and given a tiara and a crown.

“People cheered for us on the red carpet, and we had to stop so they could take our picture,” Sullivan said. My date said, ‘Pose,’ but I was like, ‘I’m not posing for nothing. I just wanted to get in there and dance!'”

And dance they did. By the end of the night, the corsage Sullivan was wearing was reduced to a single ribbon because she was swinging her arms as much as her hips on the dance floor.

Sullivan attended her junior and senior proms while in high school, but called Night to Shine a better dance to attend.

Photo courtesy of Shannon Sullivan

Photo courtesy of Shannon Sullivan

“I knew a couple of people in high school, but I wasn’t in with the in-crowd,” Sullivan said. “I know a lot more people in Special Olympics, so I felt more comfortable at this dance.”

Night to Shine was held in 200 churches in 48 different states, with about 70,000 volunteers making the night possible.

“The Night to Shine movement is more than just a prom; it is a night where people with special needs shine and they are told that they matter, that they are important and that God has a plan for their life,” Tebow told Fox Sports.

And if Sullivan could say anything to Tebow right now?

“I’d say, ‘Thank you, Tim, for sponsoring the dance, and for appreciating everybody that has disabilities.'”

As hard as Sullivan danced, she made sure to save some energy for the next morning. She had a Special Olympics snowboarding race to compete in.

She also had a reason to kick her heels up again: She took first place.