Young at Art Museum transformed from a children’s museum into an elegant venue filled with about 75 attendees for Pre-Med’s second annual “A Road to the Cure” Gala. The black-tie event, which ran Saturday from 7-11 p.m., is the club’s annual fundraiser for the pediatric oncology unit of Broward General Hospital.
With the guidance of adviser Dr. Carlos Pulido and planning of the club’s officers (including senior co-presidents Karthik Sriganeshan and Sumera Subzwari and gala chair, junior Annalisa Romanenko), the Pre-Med Club brought doctors, parents and administrators together to the dinner, which aimed to raise money for childhood cancer patients.
According to Subzwari, organizing the gala required a great deal of effort; she said the officers were packing items in the library for the silent auction until 10:30 p.m. leading up to the event.
Beginning last May, Pre-Med officers began reaching out to companies to secure sponsors for the event. This year’s corporate sponsors included the Miami Dolphins and Lion Country Safari. Corporations also donated items for the silent auction that took place during the gala.
While the amount raised this year hasn’t been tallied yet, last year’s event raised more than $40,000 for Broward General Hospital.
Subzwari said the Pre-Med Club must raise half a million dollars before they can receive a plaque with the club’s name on the eighth-floor oncology unit, but it continues to deposit money in small amounts. Ultimately, the club hopes to renovate the entire floor to make it a more welcoming environment for the children.
According to senior officer Antares Tobelem, “All funds raised… will go directly to supporting patients and their families, acquiring new equipment for patient care and expanding the pediatric oncology unit.”
So far, with money previously raised, the hospital has built a new underwater-themed section, which Subzwari describes as “absolutely gorgeous.”
“I really just love what we do, because just seeing the smiles we bring on the kids’ faces makes me feel like we’re doing something right,” Sriganeshan said.
Pre-Med plans to continue its annual fundraiser in the coming years.
“We were so elated to share our vision and passion with our friends and family,” Tobelem said. “This success only motivates us to be bigger and better next year.”