Thursday, May 11, 2023 (New York, NY) – On May 10, The Skin Cancer Foundation held its signature fundraising event, the annual Champions for Change Gala, at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The event raised more than $725,000 to support the organization’s educational campaigns, community programs and research initiatives.
More than 400 guests attended the event, including Skin Cancer Foundation donors, industry and physician allies, celebrity supporters and members of the media. Notable guests included Brendan Fraser, Hank Azaria, Cooper Hoffman and Veronica Webb.
After a lively cocktail reception, guests entered the ballroom for a seated dinner and formal program. Comedian Wali Collins emceed the event, keeping spirits high as he introduced the night’s speakers.
Skin Cancer Foundation President Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, spoke about the value of bringing the Foundation’s supporters together and recognizing their contributions to a lifesaving cause.
“This is our second Gala during Skin Cancer Awareness Month, a time to highlight the urgency of The Skin Cancer Foundation’s mission,” said Dr. Sarnoff. “It’s important to me that each and every one of you feel connected to tonight’s program and this celebration of The Skin Cancer Foundation’s work.”
Dancers entertained the guests with retro-style performances, including a Ziegfeld Follies tribute and the Charleston, and a 10-piece band kept the evening lively. New York auctioneer Harry Santa-Olallaled the crowd in an energetic Fund the Mission pledge drive. During the in-room pledge drive, donors raised $92,000 to support the Foundation.
The Foundation awarded its first Media Impact Award to Jane Brody, former personal health columnist for The New York Times. The award, which will be presented annually going forward, recognizes members of the media who exemplify the Foundation’s mission to save and improve lives through skin cancer education. The presentation of the Media Impact Award at the Gala is a progression of the Foundation’s efforts to highlight the importance of the media’s role in sharing their message.
The evening culminated with the Champions for Change Award presentation recognizing Tommy Bahama, one of the Foundation’s most active corporate partners. Since May 2021, Tommy Bahama’s Volunteer Donation-at-Checkout Campaign has raised more than $500,000 in support of The Skin Cancer Foundation’s education programs. Tommy Bahama CEO Doug Wood accepted the award on the company’s behalf.
The event co-chairs were Susan Manber, Stephanie Schweitzer and Adam Schweitzer. The event’s physician co-chairs were Elizabeth K. Hale, MD, Julie K. Karen, MD, Jesse M. Lewin, MD, and Ariel Ostad, MD. The honorary chair was Marcia Robbins-Wilf, EdD. The Gala Committee included Steve Alperin, Jeremy Brauer, MD, Vivian Bucay, MD, Kim Campbell, Ian Michael Crumm, Jennifer & Joe Dussich, Jacqueline Flam, April Franzino, Adele Haimovic, MD, Michelle Henry, MD, Kim Nichols, MD, Ana Prodanovich, Kathy Sabine, Tyler Steele, Maral Skelsey, MD, Mary L. Stevenson, MD, Shelley Tanner and Brian Underwood. The Foundation also recognizes its Gala “Glow Guardian” sponsors: Biofrontera, Castle Biosciences, DermTech, L’Oréal Dermatological Beauty and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.