Skin Cancer Foundation Holds 21st Annual Gala


The Skin Cancer Foundation recently held its 21st annual Gala. The Champions for Change Gala is the Foundation’s signature fundraising event raising $550,000 to support the organization’s research initiatives, educational materials and awareness programs. The event was October 17, 2017.

During the Gala, the Foundation presented 4 awards that included:

  • The first Champion for Change Award was presented to Sephora. 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 supported The Skin Cancer Foundation since its inception.
  • 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 longstanding friend of the Foundation who has shared his personal experience to raise skin cancer awareness.

Additional highlights from the evening included: 

  • CBS This Morning anchor Norah O’Donnell shared her melanoma experience alongside the dermatologist who treated her—Skin Cancer Foundation Senior Vice President and Gala Co-Chair Elizabeth K. Hale, MD.
  • Country-rock duo The Sisterhood—Alyssa Bonagura and Ruby Stewart—performed 3 songs.
  • Amazon, one of the Foundation’s newest corporate partners, was recognized for their $50,000 pledge of support.
  • Sam Champion received a special surprise when his best friend, broadcast journalist Josh Elliott, arrived to present him with his award.

“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 Deborah S Sarnoff, MD, president of the Skin Cancer Foundation. “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.”

Julie Gould