Takara Wiles has long recognized the pressing need to engage younger generations in the world of philanthropy—after too many times finding herself “the youngest in the room” during charity networking events. In 2009, she founded a fabulous fashion-meets-compassion event called Rock Your Style ®, which sets 20 movers and shakers from the Capital Region in a friendly fundraising competition for the coveted Golden Hanger Trophy—and yes, they do walk the runway at the final party.
“This prestigious award symbolizes their commitment to philanthropy and is passed on to the top fundraiser of the following year, creating a tradition of giving back,” Wiles says. “The essence of Rock Your Style is simple yet profoundly impactful: It’s an initiative to bridge generational gaps and cultivate the next generation of philanthropists.”
Through the years, Rock Your Style has supported various Capital Region non-profits; however, Wiles changed course in recent years as both her cousin and father battled cancer. Upon seeing firsthand the “financial toxicity” that treatment puts on a family (both her cousin and dad are now in remission, although additional relatives have recently been diagnosed), Wiles partnered up with the NYOH Community Cancer Foundation. Together, they help cancer patients with the financial part of battling this awful disease.
“Partnering with the NYOH Community Cancer Foundation allows us to make a tangible difference in the lives of individuals fighting a formidable battle,” Wiles says. “We’re not just raising funds—we’re raising hope and support for those who need it most.”
Join Takara and the nine other 2023 honorees at our annual Capital Region Gives Back event on December 6 at Putnam Place.