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Celebrity Waiter Night a can’t-miss event
September 26th, 2013

Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation, prolanthropyKevin Spahn often takes clients to sporting events and golf outings, but he’ll tell you that nothing compares to Bears cornerback Charles Tillman’s annual Celebrity Waiter Night. 

The financial planner once again will attend this year’s fourth annual event, which is being held from 7-10 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 14 at the Montgomery Club (500 W. Superior) in Chicago. 

“I always get a table,” Spahn said. “I do a lot of entertaining of clients; take them golfing, take them to games, all sorts of stuff like that. But I will say that this event is probably my favorite event to do that at, and when I invite people everyone says yes.” 

At Tillman’s Celebrity Waiter Night, about a dozen current and former Bears players trade their helmets and shoulder pads for plates and aprons. The Pro Bowl cornerback and his counterparts serve guests hors d’oeuvres, a four-course Gibsons’ menu and fine wine. 

Celebrities who attended last year’s event included Anthony Adams, Kenny Battle, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Matt Forte, Kelvin Hayden, Johnny Knox, Jarrett Payton, Nick Roach, Craig Steltz, Matt Toeaina, Sam Vincent and Corey Wootton. Many of the same individuals are expected to be on hand at this year’s benefit.

“It’s just a neat experience to see all those guys in that setting,” Spahn said. “Their guard is completely let down, especially Charles. At that event he’s very playful and fun. He just seems to really enjoy the event.” 

The Celebrity Waiter Night is the most significant fundraising event of the year for Tillman’s Cornerstone Foundation. Last year’s benefit generated almost $200,000. 

Tillman created the Cornerstone Foundation in 2005 to provide children with educational opportunities and resources to excel in the classroom. But after his three-month-old daughter, Tiana, was diagnosed with a rare heart condition and received a life-saving heart transplant in 2008, the foundation’s mission was changed to improving the lives of critically and chronically ill children. 

Funds raised at this year’s event will help pay for two child life specialists for two years in the Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The Regenstein CCU, which opened in June 2012, is a state-of-the-art 36-bed unit devoted to the care of young patients suffering from cardiac disease. 

The two child life specialists will provide support for patients’ siblings and family members who may have difficulties adjusting to or understanding a child’s illness and hospitalization.

Tickets for the Celebrity Waiter Night are available for $375 and include tax, gratuity, valet service and a Bears signature series football. The event will be limited to no more than 250 guests. 

The event also features live and silent auctions, with Tillman serving as host, waiter, Master of Ceremonies and auctioneer. 

“Charles gets up there for the live auction and really gets the crowd going,” Spahn said. “He’s really funny at this event. He’s such a good guy, but a lot of times when you see Charles out in public he’s pretty reserved. 

“But at this event I think he’s very appreciative of all the people who come because it’s for his foundation, so he likes to put on a little bit of a show and make everyone feel welcome and make everyone laugh. I just think that people see him in a completely different light at this event.” 

For more information about Tillman’s Celebrity Waiter Night, contact Judi DiGioia with the Cornerstone Foundation at (859) 415-8233 or email