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Tilly’s Life Center 3rd Annual “I Am Giving” Gala Raises $220,000

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  • Christian Ford Impresses the Crowd with a Las Vegas-Style Magic and Comedy Show
  • Medical Director of Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s Hospital, Dr. Leonard Sender Poses with TLC’s CHOC program participants (Left-to-right) Kyle, Ralph and Aileen.
  • Vice President of Events and Promotions at Vans “Off The Wall”; Steve Van Doren Strikes a Pose with Founder and President of TLC, Tilly Levine
  • Tilly’s Life Center Executive Team at its 3rd Annual “I Am Giving” Gala (Left-to-right) Lisa Turner, Amy Diaz, Monica Utley, Tilly Levine and Christine Carey

Over the weekend, Tilly’s Life Center (TLC), a youth-focused 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization held its 3rd Annual “I Am Giving” Gala hosted by Christian Ford, America’s #1 Comedy Magician to benefit TLC’s youth empowerment program. Sponsors, supporters and friends of TLC gathered for an evening of food, fun and giving at the [AV] Irvine and raised $220,000 to create lasting changes in the lives of today’s youth. 

“We’re so grateful for the continued support and generosity of our sponsors, supporters, volunteers and friends who helped make our 3rd Annual ‘I Am Giving’ Gala our best event yet,” said Founder and President of Tilly’s Life Center, Tilly Levine. “At TLC, we truly believe that ‘The Sky Is The Limit’ and with the support of our community we can continue our efforts to make our vision a reality – that every school in the country will have our program as part of the required curriculum.” 

This year’s “The Sky Is The Limit” themed gala demonstrated how TLC truly believes that with a positive mindset, anything is possible. TLC kicked-off the evening with a cocktail party complete with hors d'oeuvres, drinks and a silent auction. 

Key attendees at this year’s gala, included: Medical Director of Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s Hospital; Dr. Leonard Sender, Executive Vice Chancellor of Brandman University; Dr. Tod Burnett, President and CEO at Tillys; Ed Thomas, Executive Chairman and Founder of Tillys; Hezy Shaked, Vice President of Events and Promotions at Vans “Off The Wall”; Steve Van Doren, Dick Gebhard and Zlatko Zadro of the Stars & Stripes Tournament as well other local influencers.

Following the cocktail party, guests joined TLC amongst the clouds in the main event room for a family-style, gourmet dinner, live musical performance by the band Pacific Coast Highway and an astonishing magic and comedy show presented by the Master of Ceremonies, Christian Ford.


Christian Ford mesmerized the crowd with his witty, charming personality and range of magic tricks that implemented TLC’s core lessons: overcoming obstacles and adversity and encouraging who we see in the mirror to become a better, more whole version of ourselves.

Following dinner and live entertainment, Tilly Levine took the stage to thank everyone who attended this year’s gala and presented CHOC Children’s with TLC’s “I Am Inspiring” award for its commitment to pediatric mental health as they open the first inpatient pediatric center in Orange County.

Tilly and TLC also honored Vans “Off The Wall” with TLC’s “I Am One of A Kind” award for its overwhelming generosity over the years and commitment to help better our community.

Through video testimonials, guests were given an inside look at how TLC has enriched the lives 1,100 teens across Southern California this year alone. TLC teens, Alma and Kyle shared how the nonprofit has helped them overcome emotional and physical trials such as sexual assault and cancer.

Following the testimonials, guests were touched and inspired to donate to TLC’s live auction to help sponsor incoming TLC students, its first program in San Diego County and provide supplies for TLC’s classes. Live auction items included: a Bugatti and Porsche driving and racing experience, a seven-night stay in Mammoth, a Puerto Vallarta six-night ocean front stay with airfare, a David Copperfield VIP Las Vegas Experience, a four-night stay with Exclusive Resorts and a day in the life of the action sports industry with Tilly Levine.


Tilly’s Life Center would like to thank all of its dedicated volunteers, attendees, loyal supporters and sponsors who helped make its 3rd Annual “I Am Giving” Gala a tremendous success. Special thanks to event sponsors and auction donors: Vans “Off The Wall”, Tillys, BioLargo, Dickies, O’Gara Coach, Ultimate Events, Inc., Union Bank, Basset San Diego, Stars & Stripes Tournament, Wells Fargo, Rick and Adrienne Matros and many more.

For more information about Tilly’s Life Center and to stay connected, please follow @tillyslifecenter on InstagramFacebook , LinkedIn and follow @TillysLC on Twitter.

About TLC

TLC aims to empower teens to overcome their own adversity and crisis through positive thinking. Through tested methodologies from globally-respected thought leaders, TLC teaches effective life tools that enable teens the confidence and self-esteem they need to take responsibility for themselves – ultimately giving them the power to make positive changes in their own lives. To find out more, please visit

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