826LA Raises $475k with “Tell Me a Story”

Wednesday, June 7, was a hilarious and incredibly special event for 826LA as we celebrated the third annual Tell Me a Story at the Avalon in Hollywood, and the transformative power of turning young people into authors.

Thanks to the support of many, 826LA raised more than $475k to help fund our student publications and writing programs.

The night focused on the unique humor of childhood.

“There’s this rush when reading your stories out loud. You feel nervous, you have butterflies in your stomach, but your voice comes out clear. You project what you created because you’re proud.”

– Gaby R. 

The night began with a very special video of a recent comedy writing workshop, led by BJ Novak, and featuring Jack Black, Mindy Kaling, Mark Evan Jackson, Bob Odenkirk, and Patton Oswalt giving their best tips on joke writing.

The audience then heard from Gaby R., LA Youth Poet Laureate Finalist and 826LA student, and 826LA volunteer and novelist, Daniel Sweren-Becker.

826LA Student with Gaby R. and Volunteer Daniel Sweren-Becker. Photo By: Tina June Photography.

Ben Gibbard serenaded the crowd with songs written in and about Los Angeles. Al Madrigal kicked off the stand-up portion of the evening by sharing a hilarious story about the tooth fairy.

Next it was storytime with Aisha Tyler, who connected with Gaby’s pride in seeing her words in a bound book. “I am a published author, too,” she said to crowd. Aisha read a story of childhood from her book, Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation.

Ben Gibbard sings to the crowd. Photos by: Mari Provencher

Tell Me a Story Co-Chairs DeAnna Gravillis and Matt Cherniss. Photo By: Tina June Photography.

Townsend regaled the audience with never before told stories about his imaginary dog and his high school teacher that taught him Shakespeare. Jesse Tyler Ferguson shared his experience as an burgeoning actor and aspiring model.

To end the evening, Rob Corddry performed a hilarious piece from his “book,” entitled “Very Bobby,” about his first girlfriend and curfew.

826LA is incredibly grateful to everyone who helped Tell Me a Story be a night to remember.

826LA would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of Tell Me a Story:  Carolyn & Louis Lucido, Goldhirsh Foundation, Inell & Henry Chase, Terena & Anders Eisner, Bad Robot Productions, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Boulevard Partners, CAA, Kira Snyder & Allen Blue, Gravillis Inc., WGN America, Carrie Clifford & Paul Boese, City National Bank, DreamWorks Animation, Virginia & Grant DeVaul, Jodie Evans, The Gotham Group, HBO, Christine Jaroush,, NBC4 Southern California, Louise Nutt, Paramount Pictures, Sarah Rosenwald Varet & Jesse Coleman, Aimee Bender, Fred Beshid, Scott Boxenbaum, Brookfield Property Partners, Ami & Ray Carpenter, Alison Cotter, Stacy & Chad DePue, Emmy Ellison & Peter Sattler, Lesley & Vince Fiorillo, Lisa & Evan Goldberg, Rebecca & Mattis Goldman, Susan Ko, Rebecca McTavish & Jason Woliner, Keri & Marvin Putnam, Katie & Brian Sumers, Sylvie & Steve Rabineau, Heather Waters & Glasgow Phillips, and Nora & Peter Wendel.

Thanks also to the following in-kind sponsors: Aesop, Avalon Hollywood, Delta Airlines, Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine, Fusco New York, John Legend, The London Hotel, Sundance Institute, The Whitby Hotel, Tony Bennett, and Jason Wong of Friends of Type.

Photography courtesy of Mari Provencher and Tina June Photography.

Check out all images from the photo booth here.

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