NEW YORK, NY, September 21, 2012 – Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft lip and palate charity, has announced today that supermodel and actress Christie Brinkley will serve as Global Ambassador for World Smile Day on October 5th. This marks the first year the event will be taking place in New York City’s Times Square.
In participation of World Smile Day, Smile Train will be stationing photo booths in Times Square where onlookers and contributors can snap photos of themselves from 11:00am – 1:00pm. The booths will have the capability to instantly print photos and upload onto social media pages. In addition, Smile Train is joining forces with students from New York City schools to attend the event. The students will wear World Smile Day t-shirts in support of Smile Train’s cause and will take part in events throughout the day that support this initiative.
World Smile Day also marks the culmination of Smile Train’s “All It Takes Is A Smile” Campaign. The contest, which began on September 17th, encourages participants to upload their photos of a smile to Instagram, Twitter or Tumblr using the hashtag #SmileTrainWSD in the photo caption. Christie Brinkley will handpick a few of her favorite photos submitted on October 5th.
Sponsor Famous Famiglia will donate $10 for each photo uploaded onto a social media site during the campaign, with all proceeds benefiting Smile Train. The Famous Famiglia Pizzeria eatery in Times Square will also be serving free pizza from 11:00am – 1:00pm on World Smile Day and will hold one photo booth inside.“The Kolaj and DeBartolo families, along with the entire Famous Famiglia organization, are honored to have the opportunity to support such a wonderful cause, Smile Train. It is an important part of our personal and corporate culture to give back to the communities which we serve. And, we cannot think of a greater joy than putting a smile on a child’s face,” states Paul Kolaj, co-founder and CEO of Famous Famiglia.
“We are honored to have Christie Brinkley join us in celebrating World Smile Day in New York City and to bring awareness to this cause,” says Priscilla Ma, Executive Director of Smile Train.” “We are also grateful to Famous Famiglia Pizzeria for their generous support of our All It Takes Is A Smile Campaign. Smile Train continues to provide life-changing, free cleft treatment programs for children born with cleft in more than 80 countries around the world – many of them the world’s poorest. Through the support of sponsors and donations, we’re giving very poor children the opportunity to live full and productive lives.”
Smile Train was formed to give children around the world the ability to smile, and the opportunity for a new and productive life. Every day, Smile Train provides more than 320 surgeries for poor children around the world. These surgeries not only provide the precious gift of a smile, but also, a second chance at life. World Smile Day inspires individuals to think about how fortunate they are to have the ability to smile and how important it is to provide that opportunity to those less fortunate. Smile Train was founded in 1999, and has become the world’s largest cleft charity with over 2,300 partner surgeons operating in over 1,100 partner hospitals and has helped children in over 80 countries. Every year more than 170,000 children are born with cleft lips and palates in the developing world. Each one can be helped with corrective surgery that costs as little as $250.
For additional information on the organization and how to get involved, please visit www.smiletrain.org.
About Smile Train
Our mission is to provide a child born with a cleft the same opportunities in life as a child born without a cleft. We provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive care to hundreds of thousands of poor children in developing countries and train doctors and medical professionals in over 80 countries. Unlike many charities that do many different things, Smile Train’s mission is focused on solving a single problem: cleft lip and palate. Clefts are a major problem in developing countries where more than a million children are suffering with unrepaired clefts. Most cannot eat or speak properly. Aren’t allowed to attend school or hold a job. And face very difficult lives filled with shame and isolation, pain and heartache. Their clefts usually go untreated because they are poor – too poor to pay for a simple surgery that has been around for decades.
We want our mission to be yours.
About World Smile Day
World Smile Day was created by Harvey Ball who believed that everyone should devote one day each year to smiles and acts of compassion throughout the world.
Ball, who created the smiley face logo in 1963, created World Smile Day to revitalize the original meaning of his logo: a symbol of generosity.