Browse Entries:
All Posts

PRESS RELEASE: Starlight Names Tony DiTerlizzi a Global Ambassador

March 22, 2011

Los Angeles, Calif. – Starlight Children’s Foundation is pleased to name New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi a Global Ambassador for the organization. A supporter of Starlight’s for a decade, Tony is dedicated to Starlight’s cause to help seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities.

“It has been my mission to share the joys of reading, art and imagination with not only the healthy children in bookstores and schools across the world, but with other children who are not as fortunate,” he said.

This quest began for Tony when his young daughter, Sophia, suffered from seizures at an early age, giving his family a first-hand experience of the overwhelming and often times frightening reality of life in the hospital.

“Being storytellers, my wife and I passed the time between medical procedures and discussions with doctors by creating our own fairy tales and playing make-believe with our daughter within the walls of our quiet hospital room,” said DiTerlizzi. “It was there I began to truly understand the power of what a fantastic story can do and how it can transport one to another time, place or world.”

Dragons, space monsters, goblins and insects: the characters that inhabit storyteller Tony DiTerlizzi’s world haven’t changed since he was a kid growing up in South Florida. This year Tony celebrates ten years of creating children’s books by returning to aliens and spaceships with his futuristic fairy tale, “The Search for WondLa” (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing). It was also ten years ago, when he first got involved with Starlight and contributed beautiful illustrations for Starlight’s book, “Once Upon a Fairy Tale,” a unique collection of classic fairy tales with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Starlight.

“The work Starlight does to restore a family’s spirit is as powerful as any fairy tale,” Tony said. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to represent Starlight as a Global Ambassador and I am thrilled and honored to share in their mission of brightening the lives of seriously ill children and their families.”

About Starlight Children’s Foundation

When a child or teenager has a serious medical condition, everyone in the family is affected. For more than 25 years, Starlight Children’s Foundation has been dedicated to helping seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities. Starlight’s programs have been proven to distract children from their pain, help them better understand and manage their illnesses, and connect families facing similar challenges so that no one feels alone. Through a network of chapters and offices, Starlight provides ongoing support to children, parents and siblings in all U.S. states and Canadian provinces with an array of outpatient, hospital-based and Web offerings. Programs are also delivered internationally through affiliates in Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. To learn more visit

Back to main news page

Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.