Sujatha Suresh and Sharvari Dixit, PhD, were El Camino Hospital Foundation’s distinguished volunteer fundraiser honorees at the 29th annual Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Philanthropy Day luncheon on November 18, 2016. They were acknowledged for chairing Scarlet Night, the South Asian Heart Center’s gala benefit, which was held on March 19. The “Affair of the Heart” was attended by 575 people and raised $288,000 to support the Center’s expansion. New offices in Los Gatos, Milpitas and Fremont are making the Center’s pioneering AIM to Prevent™ heart disease and diabetes risk reduction program more easily accessible to tens of thousands of South Asians in Santa Clara and Alameda Counties.
Scarlet Night, the South Asian Heart Center’s signature fundraiser, is an enormous undertaking, and last year it celebrated the organization’s 10th anniversary, which required even more elaborate planning. This was Sujatha’s third stint as gala chair. She has been volunteering since the Center was established and focuses on corporate and community outreach. Sharvari has also been a volunteer from the beginning. Both serve on the Foundation’s Philanthropy Council for the South Asian Heart Center and set a leadership example with their own gifts.
“Being co-chair of a big event like Scarlet Night takes a lot of courage because there is so much to do and so much responsibility to shoulder,” says South Asian Heart Center Executive Director Ashish Mathur. “What makes Sujatha and Sharvari special is their passion for the cause. Both have been touched by heart disease and diabetes in their lives so it is extra meaningful for them to give back to the community in the way that they do. It is 100 percent heartfelt.”