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On Tuesday night, people from all over the state filled the Mississippi Coliseum in order to hear a message given by a football hero and a war hero.

Tim Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner who has seen his share of obstacles and miracles through his time in the NCAA and NFL, took the stage with CJ Stewart, a Purple Heart recipient, who died twice on the operating table then went through 18 blood transfusions and 40 surgeries to reconstruct his body after he was wounded by an RPG when he served as a combat medic in Afghanistan.

The event was a fundraiser for Stewart’s Down Range camp, planned to be a place where young people can learn about character through life experiences at the old Camp Kickapoo site in Clinton. At the end of the program, Tebow pledged to give $10,000 to the project, then asked the audience if there were four more people who would stand up and give $10,000.

They did, which met Stewart’s goal of raising $100,000 before the summer.

“That was out of the blue. He’s an incredible guy and continues to prove that over and over again,” Stewart said. “I had no idea he was going to do that. When you’re led in a direction you go, and great things come out of it.”

In the question-and-answer forum with Stewart fielding questions sent to the foundation’s mobile app, Tebow talked about growing up with a competitive family and how by the age of 8 years old he had a passion for football.

“We serve a big God, and big things are possible,” Tebow said. “But our dreams are so small. Look at what God can do. We should dream big, like CJ is doing.”

At one point in the program, Stewart asked Tebow what he hopes people will say about him in 50 years.

“Man, I hope they wouldn’t ever talk about football when they talk about me in 50 years,” Tebow answered. “I’d want that to be the last thing they talk about. I hope they would remember me as someone who tried to bring faith, hope and love to people in their darkest needs. I hope in 50 years they’ll talk about how I cared about people, and that I did something to make their lives better.”

Tebow also talked about the Ole Miss Rebels’ win over the Gators in 2008, saying that many people think he would count it among his least favorite games.

“I consider that one of our biggest blessings,” he said. “We were a very talented team, but we needed more motivation.”

Tebow said his team just kept expecting to win the game at the last minute, and when they didn’t, it caused the team to reevaluate what their goals were from that point on.

“We went to practice in full pads that Sunday, and it was the most intense practice I’ve ever been in,” Tebow said, adding that it solidified the Gators as a team and allowed them to play for the National Championship.

“So thank you very much, Ole Miss,” he said.

Another question Stewart asked was from a 10-year-old football fan named Caleb whose parents are going into the mission field, which will take him away from the sport he loves so much.

He referred him to Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Tebow explained that the verse isn’t just saying that anything can be accomplished through Christ, but that no matter what the situation, that God will give his people the strength to get through it.

“God’s going to honor you for giving up the things you love for him,” Tebow said. “When you love God and people, and you’re serving those people, God will see to it that it’s worth it some day.”

Tebow ended the evening with one of his favorite personal goals, telling the audience to “finish strong.” He told a story about Coach Urban Meyer pulling off his headset after Florida won the National Championship. Meyer hugged Tebow and told him, “Timmy, I love you and I’m so proud of you. You finished strong.”

“When I get to Heaven and God pulls off his headset and embraces me, I want him to be able to say, ‘Timmy, I love you and I’m proud of you. You finished strong,’ ” Tebow said. “I want to be able to say I gave it all, and that I gave it for a worthy cause.”