The Skin Cancer Foundation Raises More Than $700,000 at Annual Champions for Change Gala

More than 400 guests gathered to celebrate the Foundation’s 40th Birthday

Monday, October 21, 2019 (New York, NY) – On October 17, The Skin Cancer Foundation held its 23rd annual Gala at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. The Champions for Change Gala is the Foundation’s signature fundraising event, and more than $700,000 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 Katie Holmes, David Harbour, Abby Huntsman, Dianne Wiest, Lily Allen, Sebastian Stan, Dolores Catania and Amy Rodriguez.

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 comedian, Tom Kelly, who kept spirits high as he introduced the nights’ speakers.

Skin Cancer Foundation President Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, reflected on the Foundation’s 40th birthday and its plans for the future.

“The challenges we face today are different from those we faced forty years ago,” said Dr. Sarnoff. “There have been many changes in how we approach our work, but our goal has stayed the same: to change behaviors and save lives.”

The Foundation awarded the 2019 Media Award to Parents magazine. The annual award recognizes outstanding skin cancer-related editorial coverage.

Abby Huntsman, co-host of The View, began the award presentation by sharing her father’s experience with melanoma and speaking about the importance of the media in raising awareness about cancer. “Every single person in this room has either had cancer or knows someone who’s had it,” said Huntsman. “I am inspired by the Foundation’s work and thank those who help spread the word about the most common cancer.”

The Champion for Change Award was presented to Sandy Klein, partner at accounting firm Shanholt Glassman Klein Kramer & Co., for his longtime support and unwavering commitment to the cause.

Additional highlights from the evening included:

  • Las Vegas Illusionist, Vinny Grosso entertained the audience.
  • Auctioneer Harry Santa-Olalla led the crowd in an energetic Fund the Mission pledge drive which raised over $62,000 to help support the Foundation’s new early detection campaign, The Big See®.

The Gala was chaired by Susan Manber (chief strategy 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, Jeremy Brauer, MD, Kim Campbell, Amy Conway, Doris Day, MD, Andrew Donovan, Megan Driscoll, Jennifer and Joseph A. Dussich, Dendy Engelman Thomas, MD, April Franzino, Adele Haimovic, Elizabeth K. Hale, MD, Rob Hoxie, Julie K. Karen, MD, Jesse M. Lewin, MD, Melissa Lovy, Celine Mactaggart, Kim Nichols, MD, Ariel Ostad, MD, Isabelle Raymond, PhD, Maral Skelsey, MD, Mary L. Stevenson, MD, Shelley N. Tanner, Brian Underwood and Kit Wallace. The Foundation also recognizes its Gala “Glow Guardian” sponsors: Novartis, Regeneron and Sanofi.

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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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