Jewish Journal

Heroes of Hope | 6 Girls, $7K, 4 Days

by Nicole Behnam

November 7, 2011 | 2:19 pm

Stacy Shakibkhoo, Melody Shakibkhoo, Michelle Nabati,
Melody Nabati, Natalie Kashefi, & Jennifer Nourafshan.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill

A group of six girls made a unanimous decision on Thursday, November 3 to sign up and raise awareness for The Heroes of Hope Race for Research, an organization that raises money for pediatric and adult brain tumor and cancer research and support at UCLA’s department of Neurosurgery, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles/USC Keck School of Medicine and the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Team Big Smiles, the girls named themselves, set their standards high and decided they wanted to raise $10,000. On Sunday, November 6, Natalie Kashefi, Michelle Nabati, Melody Nabati, Jennifer Nourafshan, Melody Shakibkhoo, and Stacy Shakibkhoo gathered on Dockweiler State Beach in Playa Del Ray to participate in the 4th Annual Heroes of Hope Race for Research.

“We came up with the team name Big Smiles because you need happiness and a positive outlook to help you believe that everything in any given situation will turn out for the best,” said Melody Nabati, a hopeful team captain.

The team raised over $7,000 since the announcement of their campaign just 3 days before the race.

“No one thought we would even raise close to that in such a short amount of time,” said Nabati. “We started emailing friends, family, and colleagues, and sure enough, in just 48 hours we raised close to $7,000 for the UCLA Neurosurgery Department.”

Team Big Smiles came in 3rd place for the highest amount donated by a fundraising team. Nabati came in 2nd for the highest amount donated by an individual. In total, the race raised $119,000, twice as much as it raised last year.

“All of this really shows how friends and family members are there for you in times of trouble and need. They are the first ones to come out and show their support,” said Nabati.
Click here to make a donation to Team Big Smiles.

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When Nicole Behnam was 15, she joined the school newspaper and discovered that journalism was one of her passions. To take her passion one step further, she called Brentwood...

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