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South Asian Heart Center Gala Raises $115K

posted Oct 27, 2011, 1:26 PM by Diana Rohini LaVigne

By Diana Rohini LaVigne / Special to India-West

San Jose, Calif.—The South Asian Heart Center (SAHC) held its 2nd annual gala “Scarlet Night” this past Saturday evening at the San Jose Convention Center which drew a crowd of over 700 attendees and raised $115,000.  The money raised goes towards supporting SAHC’s educational outreach, participant screening and individualized prevention planning and follow-up.  

Proceeds came from ticket sales, sponsorships, a silent auction, raffle, grants from 14 corporations, and over 700 individuals.  This year’s donations were double the amount of last year which was the first year it hosted the fundraiser.

Dressed to the nines, guests were treated to a cocktail reception; silent auction featuring high end items like a hand carved coconut splitter and a specialty wine collection; and a plethora of healthy Hors d’oeuvres. Guests had plenty of time to mingle at the reception prior to the formal speaking program in the main hall.

The gala committee held a highly organized and timely event that set the tone for a professional yet enjoyable evening. Sheetal Singhal and Sujatha Suresh, Co-Chairs and Executive Committee for SAHC’s gala, worked hard to achieve a successful fundraiser but also to produce an event that dazzled attendees. Their efforts paid off.

Featuring a healthy buffet dinner, heart jumping dance performances by Project Pulse and Sangeet Group, comedic relief by stand up comedian Nitin Kant and music by DJ Salim, SAHC did an excellent job creating a healthy environment to spread the word for their cause.

Special guest speakers for the evening included clinical professor of medicine for U.C. Davis and congressional candidate, Dr. Ami Beri who focused on the importance of health, not politics during his keynote.

According to SAHC’s executive director Ashish Mathur, The South Asian Heart Center started in 2006 as an initiative of the El Camino Hospital and in four years has become the leader in screening and coaching South Asians to reduce their risk of heart disease.  The Center has made presentations on metabolic syndrome at several conferences including the American College of Cardiology.  They hope to be recognized as a Center of Excellence and to extend their impact on the global South Asian population by providing ubiquitous access to heart disease assessment, launching high-touch primary prevention services through partnerships, and publishing research findings based on three years of metabolic, genetic, and behavioral trend data, and on the impact of the Center’s programs.

It is their aggressive ambitions that garnered SAHC commendations from the City of San Jose and County of Santa Clara for its efforts in trying to raise awareness for heart disease in the South Asian community. These commendations were formally presented at the gala.

“…they (South Asians) have to get more aware. Because a lot of South Asians are vegetarians, non drinkers and are slim, so they think they have no issue. And that is the ideal candidate to be having a heart attack,” said Meenu Mehta, who credits SAHC with saving her life and is an active advocate for their cause, to India-West.

Although most of the evening was purely social or focused on fundraising, SAHC allocated time to explain more about heart disease, its symptoms and how to get screened. If you are interested in a screening, please visit SAHC’s website at:  www.southasianheartcenter.org/getscreened.