Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy hosts founders’ gala in NJ

Over 200 guests gathered Sunday, June 26 at Addison Park for the first annual gala supporting New Jersey’s first charitable pharmacy – Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy. With partners from across the public policy, business, social service, health care, and pharmaceutical sectors, the Founders’ Gala raised over $150,000 for the organization that opened its doors to the public in April. 

“I would like to thank each of our supporters for making the health of our community a priority,” said Founder and Trustee Ritesh Shah. “Together, we are making a difference by providing no-cost prescriptions to New Jersey’s most vulnerable population.” 

The evening began promptly at 5:30 p.m. with classical Indian music played on the sitar and drums. Guests proceeded to the main function space, which featured the presentation of proclamations by Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik and State Senators Vin Gopal and Declan O’Scanlon. Traditional Indian dances paying tribute to the Gods of service, healing, and virtue entertained the audience throughout the night. 

Assemblyperson Raj Mukherji was the evening’s keynote speaker, addressing the audience on the growing racial and ethnic disparities in health and wellbeing. He told several stories including how his life could have been changed by the existence of a charitable pharmacy two decades earlier. Mukherji closed out his remarks with a challenge for the audience saying, “Let’s celebrate New Jersey’s first charitable pharmacy and make certain it is not the only.” 

With the funds raised, the pharmacy will continue providing prescription drugs to patients. The organization places an emphasis on education and availability of prescriptions for diabetes, high blood pressure, and mental health that can have a profound impact on long-term health. 

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