Introducing Our 2021 Keeper of the Hope Award Recipient, Lilli Gordon!

Aug 31, 2021

Each year the Board of Directors of IMPACT Melanoma presents the Keeper of the Hope Award to a member of our IMPACT community whose generosity, vision, and commitment to the organization is unwavering. This award is named after Suzanne Donahue, a young woman who lost her battle with melanoma at age 37. Suzanne was gracious, giving, and reminded us all about the power of giving back, no matter your circumstance.

We’re thrilled to announce that the 2021 Keeper of the Hope Award Winner is Lilli Gordon, Founder and CEO of First Aid Beauty. Lilli will be presented with her award at our 2021 Shades of Hope Gala on Friday, November 12, 2021, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston!

We recently sat down with Lilli to discuss her work, her skin cancer prevention advocacy, and what this award means to her.

First things first, what do you appreciate about being named the recipient of the annual “Keeper of the Hope Award.” What does the honor mean to you?

It is an honor to be recognized for my personal efforts to support IMPACT Melanoma, but most importantly, my friends and family deserve a huge thanks since they have been so generous.

How did you initially got involved with IMPACT Melanoma? Why did you get involved?

My good friend Lisa Cohen got me involved with IMPACT Melanoma. As the founder of a successful skincare company, it was the perfect cause for me to support personally and for First Aid Beauty to support, as well. Skin health is the number-one priority; no lotions or potions matter without it!

What keeps you engaged with the organization? 

My desire to raise Melanoma awareness and to encourage everyone to protect themselves against Melanoma.

What is the importance of an organization like this existing?

Education on skin cancer, especially melanoma, is so important. IMPACT Melanoma has made such a difference in driving melanoma education and encouraging people to wear sunscreen and go for regular skin checks, along with helping people recognize what melanoma looks like, as catching it early is extremely important in preventing its spread.

Tell us about your company, First Aid Beauty. What’s it all about? How do you use your business to do some good in the world?

I created First Aid Beauty with a mission to rescue people from their skin concerns and do it in a way that feels luxurious, not medicinal. Over the past 12 years, we have heard from thousands of women and men telling us that our products have saved their skin and given them back their confidence. Our products help solve everything from dry skin and eczema to KP and acne, along with meeting everyday needs like cleansing, toning, and hydration.

Along with helping people feel comfortable in their skin, we have also fulfilled a mission to do some good in the world. In 2020, we launched FAB AID, our student loan repayment initiative – as of this fall, we will have paid off nearly $2 Million in student loans for extremely deserving recent graduates. We launched this program just before Covid-19 hit, and we were thrilled to pay off loans for many of those most affected, including teachers, nurses, medical researchers, and those who lost their jobs due to Covid. Additionally, we have used our large social presence to raise awareness and funds (while also making our own donations) for social causes, including racial justice, LGBTQ pride, Stop Asian Hate, and more, along with health issues such as skin cancer, eczema, and breast cancer.

What’s the importance of beauty products that support healthier skin as an operative piece of its application?

When I was a young girl, my grandmother and her sisters taught me the importance of healthy skin vs. “young-looking skin.” Taking good care of your skin is so important, from both a health and an aesthetic point of view. All First Aid Beauty products contain clean, skin-loving ingredients that are meant to improve the overall health of your skin. When your skin is healthy, it feels more comfortable and looks brighter and plumper. It can also help you feel more confident, which is so important, especially among young women who have grown up with the unrealistic beauty expectations they’ve seen on social media. It’s been so refreshing to see the tide start to turn here to people embracing their skin and creating healthy skin goals.

What excites you about this year’s Shades of Hope Gala? What are you looking forward to? What can folks expect?

We are hoping to be able to do the event in person, which is very exciting. The event is being held at the new Four Seasons hotel, and the space is gorgeous. The theme of the gala is literally magical, and there will be so many fun and engaging activities throughout the evening.

Tell us about the ways you have or continue to assist in as it relates to IMPACT’s mission? What do you enjoy about pitching in and lending a helping hand? Are there specific IMPACT related initiatives that you look forward to on an annual basis? 

My main source of assistance is my involvement with the Shades of Hope Gala as part of the Gala Committee. I have a very generous network of friends and family who have given tremendous financial support and will hopefully continue to do so on an annual basis. That is where my big value add comes from (laughs).

What’s your personal battle cry as it pertains to skincare? Why do YOU use sunscreen and protect the skin you’re in?

Sunscreen is the most important step in any skincare routine! The results of all the amazing cleansers/moisturizers/serums you use will be negated if you expose your skin to sun damage. Beyond just the sunspots and wrinkles, skin cancer is a very real concern that can affect anyone and is often very preventable. I wear sunscreen every single day, regardless of what I’m doing or where I’m going, because it’s so important to get into the habit of putting it on.

Anything else you’d like to share?

We have talked a lot about prevention, but I think it is equally important to have frequent skin checks. Many of us are already doing the right thing with regard to protecting our skin, but, unfortunately, the danger and consequences of sun exposure can come back to haunt us years—or even decades—later. Visit your dermatologist annually for a complete skin check. Learn the ABCs of skin cancer and go see your derm between annual visits if you see anything new and suspicious. Early detection and treatment is critical.

For more information on First Aid Beauty click here.

Join us at the Gala to help recognize and cheer on the efforts of Lilli Gordon. For more information click here.

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