Dr. Anil Kohli and Dr. Malwinder Dhami honoured at oral cancer fundraising event

Dr. Anil Kohli, keynote speaker, Dr. Harry Dhanju, President of the Indo-Canadian Dental Association, and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.

THE Indo-Canadian Dental Association (ICDA) raised over $100,000 in the name of Oral Cancer Research on Saturday, October 6 at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond.

The sell-out crowd of 500 included some of the city’s top dental professionals, business people, and socialites. A cocktail reception in the theme of retro Bollywood was followed by a grand stage setting featuring a 40-foot-long screen playing Bollywood greats playing 70’s and 80’s hit songs.

Dr. Mary MacDougall, Dean of Dentistry at University of British Columbia.

Selling out within the first hour were keys to unlock a cage housing 1 oz of gold donated by Nicola Wealth Management. Shiamak Davar’s own Vancouver Dance Team got the crowd in the mood as speakers graced the stage to bring awareness and raise the necessary funds for the BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program, followed by a three-course dinner. Guests were entertained by Bollywood Trivia done in Kaun Banega Crorepati-style hosted by well-known concert promoter Kamal Sharma, which was followed by a spectacular live auction hosted by socialite Fred Lee. The crowd was then brought to their feet by the singing sensation Jugpreet Bajwa who rose to fame through ZeeTV’s internationally broadcast program Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.

ICDA directors are Dr. Ruby Bhullar, Dr. Ajay Potluri, Dr. Jatinder Riar, Dr. Rowena Sooch, Dr. Gursharan Dhaliwal, Dr. Arv Sooch, and Dr. Harry Dhanju, who kicked off the night with an on-stage dance performance. “We are absolutely thrilled that everyone came out to participate, give, and have some fun,” says Dhanju who is the current President of the organization.

The late Chandravadan Bodalia, a famed photographer in Vancouver, was honoured with a tribute. He lost his life over a year ago after a long battle with oral cancer. Bodalia’s son, Vimal Bodalia, and dental oncologist, Dr. Suzanne Carlisle, were present. “Chandra Bodalia was a great friend of mine; his loss was felt by all that attended,” said Carlisle.

Dr. Malwinder Dhami (right) being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Dr. Pran Vashisht.

Dr. Malwinder Singh Dhami of Abbotsford was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for his long-time philanthropy, and for setting up ten bursaries to aid dental students with their tuition payments, for which he was also awarded a Doctorate of Letters by the University of the Fraser Valley.

Hon. Brig. Dr. Anil Kohli, India’s top endodontist and dental surgeon, gave a stimulating keynote address outlining the challenges in oral cancer

Dr. David Speirs presents award to Dr. Anil Kohli for his outstanding dedication to dentistry.

research and the paths ahead. The address ended in a spectacular video on Tourism India and an invitation for all dental professionals to attend the IFEA World Endodontic Congress in Chennai, India, in September 2020. Dr. Kohli is the recipient of India’s highest honours, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, and Dr. BC Roy Award. He was honoured with an award from the Indo-Canadian Dental Association which was presented by Dr. David Speirs and Dr. Pran Vashisht.

The BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program is facilitated by the University of British Columbia, which works in conjunction with the BC Cancer Agency. Ten UBC dentistry students and alumni volunteered at the event which was organized by Thakorine Consulting, a Vancouver-based marketing and events company.