The Sleeve Sisters presented their third annual gala and cancer benefit last Saturday at The Rotunda in Hayward. Approximately 200 guest, dressed in “Blu Royale,” were wined and dined, courtesy of LJH Sweet N Savory ,who generously donated a sumptuous buffet.
San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter; Senator Nancy Skinner Representative Tanya Henniman; and Mayoral Candidate Ken Houston were in attendance.
Oscar Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson was acknowledged with a gift of recognition for her loss and work with the Oscar Grant Foundation, and Betty Reid Soskin was presented a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Ms. Soskin, born in 1921, is currently employed as a Park Ranger with the National Park Service, where she conducts tours celebrating the African-American wartime experience. Ms. Soskin reveals both the positive steps towards integration and the presence of discrimination in the Park’s history. Soskin attended President Obama’s Inauguration as a guest of Rep. George Miller in 2009; Received honorary Doctorates at the California College of the Arts in 2010; and Mills College in 2017. She was awarded the National WWII Museum Silver Service Medallion in 2016; and receive the WAVE award as one of three “Women of Achievement” by GirlSource of San Francisco in 2010.
The Sleeve Sisters organization, was founded in 2012 by Angelique Keyes, who is an LVN and assists Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf as a Community Engagement Fellow. Keyes states her purpose is to, “join all shades of women who strive for a healthier lifestyle.”
Sleeve Sister’s purpose is to equip members with resources to support women who choose the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure as a weight loss option. There are chapters in New York, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, New Jersey and Canada. The organization is recognized for support groups on social media; promoting healthy eating; exercise; meditation; and yoga. Sleeve Sisters also offer spiritual guidance, emotional support, awareness and preventative measures.
Guest, Ken Houston offered a heartfelt testimony regarding how cancer has touched his life, noting the many family members he has lost, and how the organization was helpful in helping him acknowledge his loss for the first time in his life.
The third annual gala highlighted the scourge of pancreatic cancer: what it is; types; symptoms and risk factors. 90 percent of all pancreatic cancer is found in people age 55 and older and for unknown reasons, men are somewhat more likely to develop pancreatic cancer then women. Obesity, Diabetes, Chronic Pancreatitis, Cirrhosis of the Liver and Helicobacter pylori infection are major causes of pancreatic cancer.
Sleeve Sisters’ current mission is working with organizations and medical teams to disseminate information and resources regarding obesity, cancer, hypertension and diabetes.
Hosted by Armand Carr from 102.1 KBLX, guests were entertained by “Suga T”, Rashaad Carlton, Niecy from “Living Single,” Cait La’Dee and the Harmony Gospel Group. Other guests were Board of Supervisors & Alameda County Staff; Oakland Community Engagement Director Yvonna Cazares from the Oakland Mayor’s office; and cancer survivor and guest speaker Julie Morton.