The Skin Cancer Foundation Raises More Than $770,000 at Annual Champions for Change Gala

Hundreds of guests gathered to raise funds and celebrate the Foundation’s programs

Friday, May 17th (New York, NY) – On May 15, The Skin Cancer Foundation held its 26th annual Gala at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The Champions for Change Gala is the Foundation’s signature fundraising event. The event raised more than $770,000 to support the organization’s educational campaigns, community programs and research initiatives. 

More than 350 guests attended the Gala, including Skin Cancer Foundation donors, industry and physician allies and members of the media. After a high-spirited cocktail reception, guests were ushered into the Ballroom for the seated dinner and awards presentation. The program began with live music and a salsa dancing performance courtesy of On The Move Entertainment.  

Skin Cancer Foundation President Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, kicked off the evening by thanking the crowd for their generosity and faith in the Foundation.  

“Your tickets, your table purchases, your event sponsorships: every single dollar supports The Skin Cancer Foundation’s education programs, and, more broadly, our mission to save and improve lives,” said Dr. Sarnoff. “We are so grateful for your investment, and the trust you bestow upon us to use those funds wisely as we help people prevent, detect and seek treatment for the world’s most common cancer.”  

Auctioneer Harry Santa-Olalla led the crowd in an energetic Fund the Mission pledge drive, which raised over $100,000 to help save the Foundation’s mobile education and screening program, Destination Healthy Skin. 

After a break for dinner and another thrilling dance performance, the Foundation presented the Champion for Change Award to Shiseido Americas, in recognition of their long-standing partnership and commitment to the Foundation’s mission. Shiseido Americas has been a member of the Foundation’s Corporate Council since 2000, and many of their Shiseido sun protection products have earned the Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. Ron Gee, president and CEO of Shiseido Americas, accepted the award on the company’s behalf. 

“Though every year this honor is given to incredibly deserving recipients, none of us are here to collect an award,” said Gee. “We gather every year, and we give every year for the same reasons – because we understand the importance of skin cancer research, because we support the work of The Skin Cancer Foundation and because we know, unequivocally, the work that they do saves lives.” 

The Foundation also awarded the 2024 Media Impact Award to Refinery29. The award, presented annually, recognizes members of the media who exemplify the Foundation’s mission to save and improve lives through skin cancer education. The Foundation is proud to partner with Refinery29 on their Sun Blocked awareness campaign, a global call-to-action to wake up to the detrimental impact of sun exposure. The Foundation and Refinery29 have collected more than 8,000 signatures for a petition calling on the FDA to finalize a proposed rule that would ban minors from indoor tanning.   

The Gala was chaired by April Franzino (beauty director of Good Housekeeping, Prevention and Woman’s Day magazines) and Stephanie and Adam Schweitzer (CAA). 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; Kim Campbell; Ian Michael Crumm; Jennifer & Joseph Dussich; Adele Haimovic, MD; Michelle Henry, MD; Alexis Holder; Susan Manber; Blair Murphy-Rose, MD; Kim Nichols, MD; Ana Prodanovich; Maral K. Skelsey, MD; Susan Small; Tyler Steele; Mary L. Stevenson, MD; Jane Yoo, MD and Bridgitte Young. 

The Foundation also recognizes its Gala sponsors: Castle Biosciences; EltaMD Skin Care; La Roche-Posay; L’Oréal Dermatological Beauty, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Shiseido Americas.  

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About The Skin Cancer Foundation 

The Skin Cancer Foundation saves and improves lives by empowering people to take a proactive approach to daily sun protection and the early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The Foundation seeks 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 strategy 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 


Ali Venosa,; 646-583-7979  


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