December 30, 2014 – Assist News Service – Mark Ellis and Michael Ashcraft

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS) — Philippines-born Tim Tebow, famous for taking a knee and praying mid-game as an NFL quarterback, has now made a touchdown pass off the gridiron: a pediatric hospital under his tutelage opened for business this Christmas.

“I have always had a great love and passion for the Filipino people,” Tebow said in a statement. “It is so exciting to be able to provide healing and care for these incredibly deserving children halfway around the world.”

In the Fall of 2011, Tebow joined forces with CURE International to build a 30-bed orthopedic hospital in Davao City. His Tebow foundation helped raise the $3 million to fund construction and staffing.

While health services began last week, the official grand opening won’t be until spring of 2015. A 5-story building, the Tebow CURE Hospital will treat clubfoot, bowed legs, cleft palate and other congenital limb abnormalities among impoverished Filipinos who otherwise would not receive any treatment.

“These are simple procedures we take for granted in the U.S.,” said Erik Dellenback, executive director of the Tim Tebow Foundation in a statement. “The reality is that we hope to show people in the Philippines that there is faith, hope and love out there. We want to show that the Western world cares about them and that they’re not a deserted nation.”

Born to missionaries in Makati, Philippines, in 1987, the 6’3” 236-pound quarterback led the Denver Broncos to the AFC West title in 2011. Just about any time he made a stellar play, he would take a knee and bow his head as a visible sign of praise to God – a signature act that became known as “tebowing” in popular culture.

Tebow was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy in 2007 for his crushing performance with the University of Florida Gators. When he painted “John 3:16” on his eye black for the 2009 BCS championship game, the verse spiked as Google’s highest-ranked search for 24 hours with 90 million views.

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