11/1/2021, 4:49 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

Orange County, Calif., Nov. 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On the evening of October 16, 2021, Tilly’s Life Center (TLC) raised nearly $750,000 at its 7th Annual “I Am Giving” Gala, Come Fly With Us. This year the event was held in person at Fullerton’s stunning Hangar 21, The Executive Hangar. The night was filled with elegance starting with “paparazzi” greeting guests on the red carpet entrance making everyone feel like a celebrity. Cocktail hour on the tarmac featured wine and jewelry pulls combined with cigars and champagne surrounded by private jets, pilots, flight attendants and even a fabulous Rolls Royce, sponsored by O’Gara Coach & JP Logistics. It provided for a beautiful setting and several photo opps as the sun set in the distance. Inside the hangar, guests enjoyed a fine dining experience, with tray-passed hors d'oeuvres, scotch and martinis, as well as a three-course gourmet dinner amongst airplanes and a “MadMen/Pan Am” styled venue. The exciting live auction and raise the paddle, conducted by auctioneer Zack Krone, helped raise money for TLC, whose educational services help teens acquire social and emotional skills. 

The program opened with Tilly Levine, TLC’s Founder and President, urging “that by addressing health as a ‘whole-self’ approach - which includes students’ emotional wellbeing, it prepares our youth with the tools they need to thrive in this world.” After Co-Chairs, Dr. Adrienne Matros and Jorge Ververa, presented the awards to supporters, Scott Struthers and Union Bank, one TLC graduate shared his moving story of acceptance and gratitude. Truly the highlight of the night, this student explained how TLC had taught him to “embrace a growth mindset to be the best version of myself.” Monica Utley, TLC’s Executive Director, then reminded guests that “Students are truly starving emotionally…” and that SEL programs in schools are essential. “We must act quickly. We must be deliberate. We must make this our top priority,” she exclaimed. As the program moved on, Amy Diaz, VP of Development, thanked TILLYS for their customers’ generous support. They generated $1.5 Million for TLC with small dollars through their Round Up 4 Change initiative that launched last holiday season. The evening then closed with everyone dancing and enjoying the Gala to the fullest.

Sponsors included TILLYS, Sonance, Union Bank, Rick & Adrienne Matros, Latham & Watkins, CSI Electrical Contractors, Inc., Wells Fargo, Dickies, Frome Family Foundation, Goldman Sachs, BioLargo, The Medicine Woman, and more. Guests were able to experience live entertainment from a performance by the Billboard artist, saxophonist, and DJ Natty Rico who was then followed by the hit band, Soulville. It was the perfect way to spend the night, listening to wonderful music while eating delicious food, and dancing the night away.

The funds raised from the Gala will be utilized towards expanding TLC’s mission to inspire today’s youth to reach their full potential as productive, kind, happy, and responsible individuals. TLC empowers teens by teaching life skills that build confidence, inspire compassion, and encourage them to pursue their dreams. TLC currently hosts virtual and in-person programs throughout Southern California and trains educators throughout the country to implement its curriculum in their own classrooms. 

About TLC:

Tilly’s Life Center (TLC) is a nonprofit educational program that helps teens overcome the serious obstacles they are met with on a daily basis. Our proactive approach uses experiential learning, journal writing, open discussion, and other activities to guide teens in effectively coping with crisis, adopting healthy habits, and reaching their full potential. The program is available as a high school course via virtual or in-person, an after-school program, or a series of workshops. Additionally, TLC has launched an Educator Certification initiative to train and license educators to implement our curriculum  in their classrooms. Topics reflect what teens experience in their lives, such as stress management, bullying, body-image, coping mechanisms, and more. To find out more, please visit www.tillyslifecenter.org.

Follow: @tillyslifecenter on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and follow @TillysLC on Twitter.


Maya Malka
Tilly's Life Center
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