Smile Train, and its 1,100 partners spread across 72 countries, are pleased to announce another successful year, continuing the mission which began 12 years ago – to give every child born with a cleft anywhere in the world – the opportunity to live a full, happy, and productive life.
“During this time of year it is important to recognize those in need as well as to give thanks to those who have given so generously during the year,” said Priscilla Ma, Smile Train Executive Director. “During 2011 donors opened their hearts and wallets to give generously to help children with cleft lip and palate – children they will never meet; and hundreds gave their time and energy to hold their own special fundraising events to help these children. We are especially pleased to thank some of our celebrity friends who have lent their name and given time and money to Smile Train. With these resources, and new efforts, our goal is for Smile Train to reach 750,000 surgeries by June 2012.”
Among the many efforts during the year, Dean Cain, Tatyana Ali and Erik Estrada appeared on The 38th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards to help raise awareness for Smile Train by highlighting a recent trip they took to Mexico with the charity. Additionally, Erik Estrada continued his mission to support Smile Train by choosing to dance for the charity on the Univision hit show Mira Quien Baila! raising over $10,000. Lastly, comedian Jimmy Pardo continued the giving trend with his Third Annual PARDCAST-A-THON.
“The holidays are an important time of year to remember those who are less fortunate. I support Smile Train so that they can continue the incredible work they do helping children around the world,” said Kevin Connolly.
“During this time of year and all year round, we want everyone to remember that Smile Train continues to be the angels to these children and gives them a shot at a good life with a smile,” added Erik Estrada.
Jimmy Pardo, who recently hosted the Third Annual PARDCAST-A-THON, a twelve-hour marathon of his award winning podcast “Never Not Funny,” to raise money for Smile Train, said: “This year’s event was a great success for Smile Train. The comedy community came together for 12 hours and raised over $40,000, along with creating great awareness for this cause to help change the lives of children around the world.”
Sammi Hanratty, star of the upcoming feature film The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone and the recently released The Greening of Whitney Brown, will join Smile Train on a trip abroad in 2012, to meet with Smile Train partners and the children who benefit from Smile Train’s work.
“This time of year really reminds us about the importance of giving back. I am thrilled to be working with Smile Train! The first thing people notice when they look at someone is their smile and to be able to give a child the smile they were born to have is a life-changing event,” said Sammi Hanratty. “I am looking forward to my trip in 2012 so I can see first-hand the children they help.”
Smile Train has a unique model of empowering local medical professionals to provide free corrective cleft surgery in a safe environment for children around the world suffering from a cleft lip and/or palate. Smile Train has provided over 700,000 free cleft surgeries since its founding in 1999. The work that Smile Train does provides a child with a second chance at life through a surgery that costs as little as $250.