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Community Corner: Bay Area Teen Magician Receives Philanthropy Award

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - A local Bay Area philanthropist has presented five California teens with $36,000 each to help further their vision to repair the world.

A Bay Area teen who performs magic shows in local hospitals is one of the recipients of the prestigious Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards given by The Helen Diller Family Foundation.

This award was the vision of Helen Diller and the foundation to acknowledge and honor teens who are changing the world through simple acts, to showcase them so other teens can see them as an inspiration, and to allow the 'adult world' to recognize the power teens have to influence the world for the better.

Diller Teen Initiatives Director Adam Weisberg said the foundation has been impressed with all the applicants who show such creativity in serving others. Fifteen-year-old magician Daniel Rosenthal is one of the winners.

KCBS' Connie C. Kim talks to 15-year-old magician Daniel Rosenthal and Diller Teen Initiatives Director Adam Weisberg:

Rosenthal began performing magic in hospitals at the age of 7.

"There were so many sad patients," Rosenthal said, "I saw how magic was such an international language and it brings happiness to the saddest of people."

He said after performing in the cancer department of a local hospital one time, someone approached him and said "This is the first time we heard laughter in here." From there, his nonprofit Magic is Medicine was born. The organization mobilizes professional magicians to perform at hospitals, schools, and rehabilitation and assisted living centers across the country.

Now in its 13th year of giving, the Foundation has granted more than $200 million to support education, the arts, medical research and development, leadership training programs for teens, and many other charitable endeavors.

Past award recipients have worked on projects such as anti-bullying campaigns, serving the underprivileged community, getting clean water in Africa, and fighting illiteracy in the developing world.

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(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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