As Tebowmania descended upon the Big Apple this week, the former Denver Broncos quarterback promised to do everything in his power to help the victims’ families and everyone else affected by the events that took place in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20th.
“It was shocking. Kind of surreal,” Tim Tebow said. “Whatever we can do for a family. Figuring out how to do something to brighten someone’s day or put a smile on their face. That is what my foundation is all about, and we want to help people in their darkest hour of need.
“That is part of my mission statement. This is really a dark hour of their life. So if we could put a smile on someone’s face going through this, either let them forget or let them think about something else, you are doing something pretty cool.”
Even though he is now a member of the New York Jets, Tebow says that the Denver-area will always have a special place in his heart. As such, he sees this as a great opportunity to lay a helping hand in the healing process in a place that desperately needs it.
“It’s hard to imagine and fathom that you can actually have an impact in someone’s life,” added the 24-year-old signal-caller. “You just think that all I do is play a game, I’m not that important. But it can really have an effect, and when you see that, it’s surreal and humbling. Giving them hope or just letting someone smile, just putting a smile on their face, brightens their day a little bit. That’s more important than throwing any touchdown pass or winning any game, in my opinion.”
The former Heisman Trophy winner told the NyDailyNews.com that he literally lived five minutes away from the Century 16 Theater in Aurora, the site of the mass shooting that left 12 innocent people dead and dozens wounded.
Although Tebow admitted that he had never seen a movie there, he claims to know the area very well. He had a house just two (highway) exits from Aurora, near Cherry Hills, and actually has friends who knew people that were there while the massacre was taking place.
Tebow says that his brother, Peter, knows at least three people who were at the theater that night watching “The Dark Knight Rises,” but that “None of them were harmed.”
“It was just a surreal moment for them to see the blood and the people and everything involved,” he continued. “It was just unreal. I can’t even imagine it. My thoughts and prayers went out to the families and the victims, but also to the people that weren’t harmed, but just had to see it and had to be affected by it. People in other theaters hearing the screams, hearing the yells, that can be pretty tragic, too.”
In its aftermath, Tebow sees this as a great opportunity to lay a helping in the healing process of a town that gave him so much when everyone had such little faith in him and his abilities on the football field.