Operation Smile, the world’s largest volunteer-based medical charity of its kind providing free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, will hold its 13th annual Smile Event in New York City on Thursday, May 14 at Cipriani 42nd Street.

The evening honors Johnson & Johnson and its Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky with the Corporate Humanitarian Award in recognition of the global healthcare company’s long-standing support of Operation Smile. Since the partnership began in 1988, Johnson & Johnson – starting with its Medical Devices business Ethicon – has provided nearly $25 million in monetary and product donations to the international children’s medical charity, and is the exclusive provider of every suture used on Operation Smile surgical missions.

“Johnson & Johnson has shown unparalleled dedication to improving the quality of life for children around the world,” said Dr. Bill Magee, Operation Smile Co-Founder and CEO. “This unwavering commitment to making the world a healthier place is at the heart of their giving, and the reason we’ve chosen to honor this outstanding company.”

In the last several years, Johnson & Johnson has mobilized the caring power of more than 10,000 of its employees in support of Operation Smile. Money raised through voluntary, employee-driven fundraising campaigns, combined with product donations, have helped provide new smiles to more than 100,000 patients. In addition to fundraising, Johnson & Johnson global employees volunteer on Operation Smile medical missions worldwide.

“More than 500 of our employees have experienced first-hand the joy of helping transform a child’s life as part of medical missions,” said Gary Pruden, Worldwide Chairman of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices. “Our employees are motivated and proud to continue to support the incredible work of Operation Smile throughout the world, and aspire to restoring 6,000 smiles by raising an additional $1.5 million through their employee fundraising efforts this year,” said Pruden, who will accept the first-ever Global Impact Award in recognition of the Medical Devices team’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to fundraising.

Philanthropist and entrepreneur Barbara Majeski and her family will receive the Founders Circle Award in recognition of their dedication and contribution to the work of healing smiles worldwide. After volunteering on a medical mission with Operation Smile, Barbara felt compelled to launch a national fundraising campaign with her husband’s company Cydcor Inc. and their affiliates.Since 2010, Barbara has helped Cydcor raise more than half a million dollars to sponsor three medical missions, and this year, the Majeski family is slated to top the million-dollar mark in fundraising. “It’s an honor to raise money and awareness for Operation Smile,” said Barbara Majeski. “The free surgeries they provide to families across the globe are life-changing and inspiring.”

Award-winning actress Kate Walsh, best known for her roles on the ABC dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will make a special appearance.

For more information about Operation Smile’s global efforts, please visit www.operationsmile.org. Supporters can follow Operation Smile on Twitter @operationsmile and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/operationsmile.

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