Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow escorted a guest last year at "Night to Shine," his foundation's annual prom night for people with special needs.

Nonprofit news: Several Jacksonville churches taking part in Tim Tebow's 'Night to Shine' prom

By: 
Jan. 25, 2017

This year marks the third anniversary of Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation.

The prom night experience is for people with special needs ages 14 and older.

This year, about 150,000 volunteers in 375 churches around the world will serve more than 75,000 guests on Feb. 10.

The host churches represent all 50 states, 11 countries and 28 denominations.

Several Jacksonville churches are participating, including the Church of Eleven22, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Impact Church, Southside United Methodist Church, University Church and Faithbridge Church.

The foundation provides each church with a planning manual and a prom kit, complete with decorations and gifts for the guests.

It also is providing more than $3 million in financial support to hundreds of churches needing assistance in hosting the event.

A new development this year involves 22 groups of churches coming together in their communities to co-host Night to Shine.

Night to Shine doesn’t just take place in churches. In fact, many churches are hosting their proms in venues such as a baseball stadium, a theme park, a southern plantation and even a former penitentiary.

Night to Shine guests enter the event on a red carpet complete with a welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi.

Once inside, they visit hair and makeup stations and shoe shining areas, and receive corsages, boutonnieres and a catered dinner. Each guest is crowned king or queen of the prom.

For more information, visit timtebowfoundation.org.

Simon properties offering scholarships

Jacksonville-area Simon properties are again going to help area students pay for college.

Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for at-risk high school students, is looking for qualified applicants who live near St. Johns Town Center, The Avenues mall, St. Augustine Premium Outlets and the surrounding communities.

Each year, Simon Youth Community Scholarships are awarded in each community across the country that is home to Simon, Mills or Premium Outlets malls.

Students graduating in the class of 2017 who live in a community surrounding a Simon property are eligible.

Applicants can check their eligibility by entering their ZIP code at syf.org/scholarships.

Students can apply at syf.org/scholarships through March 1.

Recipients will receive up to $1,500 to enroll in an accredited college, university, vocational or technical school.

In 2016, the Simon Youth Foundation awarded $1.2 million to 300 students nationwide.

Students are selected based on a variety of criteria, including financial need, academic performance, leadership skills and participation in school and community activities.

Students who are the first in their family to pursue a post-secondary education will be given additional consideration.

Winners will be notified in May.

900 volunteers live King’s dream of service

Celebrating a day on instead of a day off, more than 900 Wells Fargo employees and community volunteers joined together Jan. 16 to live Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.

With the support of dozens of nonprofits, HandsOn Jacksonville, LISC Jacksonville, HabiJax and United Way of Northeast Florida arranged more than two dozen Wells Fargo-sponsored community service projects.

They also informed residents about free tax preparation and financial education services provided by United Way’s RealSense.

Focused on the Springfield, East Jacksonville, New Town and Northwest Jacksonville neighborhoods, volunteers helped increase financial awareness, clean up buildings and streets, landscape blighted areas, distribute food to those in needs and paint murals.

They logged more than 3,600 hours of community service.

Learn more at unitedwaynefl.org.

Women’s Giving Alliance conference is March 12-14

The Women’s Giving Alliance is hosting the 2017 Women’s Collective Giving Grantmakers Network National Leadership Forum on March 12-14 at One Ocean Resort in Atlantic Beach.

The conference, “Women Together Making Waves,” will celebrate women-powered giving with peers from around the nation.

The keynote speaker is Jackie Bezos, president of Bezos Family Foundation.

Teresa Younger, president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, also has been confirmed as a speaker.

The alliance is a giving circle, where members contribute individually but make grants collectively. It is an initiative of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

The investment allows members to participate in two forms of philanthropy: collective grant making and endowment building.

Members of the Women’s Giving Alliance have made more than $4.9 million in grants and built an endowment of over $2.8 million.

To view the conference agenda or to register, visit wcgn-network.org/conferences.

Ansbacher named top volunteer at land trust

The North Florida Land Trust named Ben Ansbacher as its 2016 volunteer of the year Friday at the nonprofit’s annual Legacy Luncheon.

“Ben was chosen because he is one of the most dependable people on our team,” said Keith Holt, vice chair of the board of directors. “Whenever we make a call and ask our volunteers for help, Ben is the first one to raise his hand.”

Ansbacher began volunteering in late 2015.

He is a member of the Team Terrapin volunteer program and helps monitor diamondback terrapins during their nesting season.

He also assists the stewardship team with property monitoring and scouting of potential conservation properties.

Genevieve DeLoach, Wayne and Patricia Hogan and City Council member Tommy Hazouri were recognized for their contributions to save the 1898 Spanish American War Fort.

Board members Ashley Dopf and Doug Coleman also were honored for their work.