Victims and survivors of cancer were honored at the SKN Foundation’s annual gala, a sold-out event with more than 400 guests that took place on Saturday, September 17, 2016, at the Marigold (315 Churchill Avenue) in Somerset, New Jersey. The evening’s event included powerful messages and poems from the founder, Dr. Naveen Mehrotra, and his mother, both of whom have lost loved ones to the disease. Fox News radio and television personality Vipp Jaswal emceed the evening’s program, which highlighted keynote speaker Lisa Ray’s battle with Multiple Myeloma. The colorful event culminated with a runway fashion show by international designer Joy Mitra and a performance by Indian singer/songwriter Falu Shah.
The evening’s efforts were coordinated by lead event organizer, Sonalika Ahuja from Beyond Media, with support provided by Urvashi Mishra of Electric Karma International and Ayesha Hakki of Bibi Magazine.
“The amount of support we have received from activists and philanthropists in the tristate area is truly heart-warming and humbling,” said Ahuja. “This is an issue that affects all of us, and the monies raised from this gala will go toward educating people about the disease, while creating an accessible support system for South Asian families.”
“We could not have doubled our efforts from years previous without the generous support of our sponsors and friends,” said Dr. Mehrotra. “South Asians are usually silent and ashamed when it comes to addressing the impact of diseases in our community; we hope events like these will help lift the veil of silence and allow those affected and impacted to speak out and seek support.”
In addition to Joy Mitra’s fashion show, the evening also spotlighted “real people” who are creating change in their communities and walked the ramp in support of the cause. They included:
Giving Back Foundation founder Meera Gandhi
NY1 and AVS host Joya Dass
Actor Sonny Chatrath
Actor Deepti Nair
Actor & Restauranteur Roni Mazumdar
Cancer Survivor Chiara D’Agostino