Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy, first of its kind in New Jersey, hosts founders’ gala

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Ritesh Shah, founder of Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy, speaking at first annual gala held in Aberdeen, N.J., June 26, 2022, to support the first-of-its-kind in New Jersey. Photo: Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy — the blinking website is not letting me put it there, so here it is for you

More than 200 guests gathered Sunday, June 26, 2022, at Addison Park in Aberdeen, N.J., for the first annual gala supporting New Jersey’s first charitable pharmacy – Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy.

The event raised more than $150,000 for the organization which opened its doors to the public this April, a press release from organizers said.

The event was attended by representatives from public policy, business, social service, health care, and pharmaceutical sectors

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“I would like to thank each of our supporters for making the health of our community a priority,” Founder and Trustee Ritesh Shah is quoted saying in the press release. “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.

Highlights of the function were 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 event.

New Jersey State Assemblyman Raj Mukherji speaking at the June 26, 2022, inaugural annual gala to support New Jersey’s first charitable pharmacy-Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy, in Aberdeen, N.J. Photo: ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy
New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal speaking at the June 26, 2022, inaugural annual gala to support New Jersey’s first charitable pharmacy-Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy, in Aberdeen, N.J. Photo: Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy

Member of the N.J. State Assembly Raj Mukherji was the evening’s keynote speaker. He noted 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. “Let’s celebrate New Jersey’s first charitable pharmacy and make certain it is not the only,” he urged the audience.

Yash Shah, master of ceremonies, and Sarthak Shah, hosts of the June 26, 2022, first annual gala to support the Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy in Aberdeen, N.J. Photo: Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy
Aryan, Padmasana & Deepa – dance performers at the June 26, 2022, first annual gala to support Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy in Aberdeen, New Jersey. Photo: Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy

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, the press release said.

Ritesh Shah Charitable Pharmacy outlines its goal of creating a healthier community by providing access to m edication, education, and services that reduce health disparities. Located at 224 Shrewsbury Avenue, Red Bank, the organization will provide uninsured and underserved patients with prescriptions for free, it said.

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