The Skin Cancer Foundation Raises $550,000 At Champions For Change Gala

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Skin Cancer Foundation President, Dr. Deborah S. Sarnoff and Champion for Change honoree Priya Venkatesh, Vice President of Merchandising, Skincare and Hair, at Sephora.
Skin Cancer Foundation President, Dr. Deborah S. Sarnoff and Champion for Change honoree Priya Venkatesh, Vice President of Merchandising, Skincare and Hair, at Sephora.

On October 17th, The Skin Cancer Foundation held its 21st annual Gala at Cipriani 25 Broadway in New York City. The Champions for Change Gala is the Foundation’s signature fundraising event, and $550,000 was raised to support the organization’s research initiatives, educational materials and awareness programs.

More than 400 guests attended the event, including Skin Cancer Foundation donors, industry and physician allies, celebrity supporters and more. Notable guests included Sally Field, Matt Lauer, Famke Janssen and Brooke Shields.

After the cocktail reception co-hosted by Lands’ End and Olay, guests then took their seats for the dinner and program. The evening was hosted by Tony award-winning actress Annaleigh Ashford. Skin Cancer Foundation President Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, then took the stage to talk about the Foundation’s work and plans for the future.

Country-rock duo The Sisterhood (Ruby Stewart and Alyssa Bonagura) perform at The Skin Cancer Foundation Champions for Change Gala.
Country-rock duo The Sisterhood (Ruby Stewart and Alyssa Bonagura) perform at The Skin Cancer Foundation Champions for Change Gala.

“I’m incredibly proud of the work The Skin Cancer Foundation has done to raise awareness and encourage people to take better care of their skin,” said Dr. Sarnoff. “Now we must take on the challenge of convincing people to act on the information we have provided, and embrace their own personal role in the fight.”

During the program, the Foundation presented four awards. The first Champion for Change Award was presented to Sephora, one of the Foundation’s most committed corporate partners. Priya Venkatesh, Vice President of Merchandising, Skincare and Hair, accepted the award on the company’s behalf. Sephora has raised $6 million for the Foundation through sales of the Sun Safety Kit, an exclusive collection of sunscreen and sunless tanning favorites from top beauty brands.

The Legacy Award was presented to Johnnie and Rex Amonette, MD, who have been invaluable supporters of The Skin Cancer Foundation since it started.The 2017 Media Award was presented to Cosmopolitan for the article “I’m a Derm and I Got Skin Cancer” written by Tula Karras. Chief Beauty Director Leah Wyar Romito accepted the award on the magazine’s behalf.The second Champion for Change Award was presented to weather anchor Sam Champion, a longtime friend of the Foundation who has shared his personal experience to raise skin cancer awareness.

Dermatologist and Senior Vice President of The Skin Cancer Foundation Dr. Elizabeth K. Hale, Today Show host Matt Lauer and CBS This Morning anchor, Norah O’Donnell.
Dermatologist and Senior Vice President of The Skin Cancer Foundation Dr. Elizabeth K. Hale, Today Show host Matt Lauer and CBS This Morning anchor, Norah O’Donnell.

The Gala was chaired by Dr. Hale, Adam Schweitzer (Partner/Board Member, ICM Partners) and Stephanie Schweitzer. The Honorary Chair was Marcia Robbins-Wilf, EdD. The Gala Committee included Mr. and Mrs. Anson H. Beard; Jeffrey Brackeen, MD; Karen E. Burke, MD, PHD; Kim Campbell; Doris Day, MD; Dendy Engelman, MD; April Franzino, Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH; Susan Manber; Ariel Ostad, MD; Mili Dutt Reddy, Anne Reilly and Howard Sobel, MD.

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