The Skin Cancer Foundation Raises $600,000 at Champions for Change Gala

More than 400 guests gathered to raise funds for skin cancer education initiatives and celebrate the Foundation’s efforts to change behaviors and save lives.

Friday, October 26, 2018 (New York, NY) – On October 25, The Skin Cancer Foundation held its 22nd annual Gala at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. The Champions for Change Gala is the Foundation’s signature fundraising event, and $600,000 was raised 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 Sofía VergaraDavid Harbour, Condola Rashad, Kayli Carter and Dolores Catania.

After the cocktail reception in the Plaza’s Terrace Room, guests were ushered into the Grand Ballroom for the seated dinner and formal program. The evening was emceed by Jeff Rossen, host of “Rossen Reports” on NBC’s TODAY, who kept the evening lively as he introduced the nights’ speakers. Rossen shared his own experience with skin cancer and spoke about the similarities between his work and the Foundation’s mission.

“My goal with ‘Rossen Reports’ is to give you tips, strategies and takeaways that are actually useful,” said Rossen. “That’s why The Skin Cancer Foundation’s work resonates with me. We’re connected by our shared mission to help people live better lives.”

Skin Cancer Foundation President Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, took the stage to talk about the impact of the Foundation’s work.

“We do this work at The Skin Cancer Foundation because we believe in what we do and we have seen the results. Indeed, we have saved lives,” said Dr. Sarnoff. “We celebrate the champions who face this disease head on; their loved ones who fight right alongside them and the people who work tirelessly to provide the resources needed to prevent, detect and treat skin cancer before it can devastate a life.”

The Champion for Change Award was presented to Robert J. Friedman, MD, clinical professor at NYU School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, for his dedication to skin cancer education. The Skin Cancer Foundation’s 2018 Media Award was presented to O, The Oprah Magazine, in recognition of the magazine’s outstanding skin cancer-related editorial coverage.

Additional highlights from the evening included:

  • Singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka performed a medley of his classic songs, giving the audience a trip down memory lane.
  • Auctioneer Patrick Tully led the crowd in an energetic Fund the Mission pledge drive which raised $12,550 to help support Destination: Healthy Skin, the Foundation’s mobile skin cancer screening program.

The Gala was chaired by Susan Manber (chief planning officer, Digitas Health) and Stephanie and Adam Schweitzer (partner/board member, ICM Partners). The honorary chair was Marcia Robbins-Wilf, EdD. The Gala Committee included Chris G. Adigun, MD, Jeffrey Brackeen, MD, Jeremy Brauer, MD, Kim Campbell, Doris Day, MD, Megan Driscoll, Jennifer and Joseph A. Dussich, Dendy Engelman, MD, April Franzino, Scott M. Friedman, Seth I. Friedman, Elizabeth K. Hale, MD, Adele Haimovic, MD, Erum Ilyas, MD, Julie K. Karen, MD, Jesse Lewin, MD, Celine Mactaggart, Elizabeth Naughton, Ariel Ostad, MD, Isabelle Raymond, PhD, Anne Reilly, Mitzi Runyan, Mary L. Stevenson, MD, Don Uselmann and Kit Wallace.

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About The Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. Since its inception in 1979, the Foundation has recommended following a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade and covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use. For more information, visit

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