Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity, honored Smile Ambassadors Zachary Levi, Giuliana and Bill Rancic at its 10th annual Smile Gala this evening, September 23, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. President of NBC Entertainment Jennifer Salke and her 12-year-old son Henry, as well as philanthropist Sue Tsao were also honored. “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush served as Master of Ceremonies and entertainment included a special performance by “The Voice” stand-out Dia Frampton, Colburn’s Children Choir and The Immortals Lions Dance Troupe.
The Smile Gala was co-chaired by Stephanie Argyros, Dayna and Steven Bochco, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, Susan Casden, Krista Lesh Jajonie, Kelly and Ron Meyer, Daneia Sanadiki, Dr. Randy Sherman, and Leslie and Robert Zemeckis. Special guests attending the gala included Operation Smile Ambassadors Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, Billy Bush, Brooke Burke-Charvet and David Charvet, Sharif Atkins and Megan Follows, Operation Smile’s Canada spokesperson. More than $1.2 million was raised to benefit the organization.
Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft. One in 10 of those children will die before their first birthday. The Smile Gala is a premier event, helping Operation Smile provide hope and healthy futures for children worldwide. Operation Smile provides free surgery for children worldwide suffering from clefts, to heal their smiles and transform their lives. For Gala information, please visit www.operationsmile.org/lagala
Operation Smile’s John Connor Humanitarian Service Award honors those who have demonstrated concern and love for their fellow man through their actions and deeds. Actor Zachary Quinto (Star Trek
) presented the award to actor Zachary Levi, who stars in the NBC show “Chuck” and recently appeared in films “Tangled
,” “Alvin and Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
,” and “Big Momma’s House 2
.” Levi is a devoted philanthropist, most recently hosting a “Conversations for a Cause” event in July 2011 to benefit Operation Smile, raising enough funds to provide life-changing surgery for more than 166 children.
Salaam Coleman-Smith, President, The Style Network, presented the Operation Smile Universal Smiles Award to Giuliana and Bill Rancic, who have dedicated their energy to improving the lives of others. Giuliana Rancic – an entertainment journalist, fashion and beauty expert and television personality – is the co-anchor of E! News and co-star of E!’s Fashion Police team. She is watched by millions each week on both E! and the Style Network on her hit reality show, “Giuliana & Bill,” and her philanthropic works include Operation Smile, Dress For Success, Mercy Hope for Boys and Girls in Chicago and the Children’s Miracle Networks.
After his introduction to America as Donald Trump’s original “Apprentice,” Bill Rancic continues his commitment to entrepreneurship. He is a real estate developer, producing and appearing in television programs, and a motivational and business speaker. Bill regularly appears on NBC’s “The Apprentice,” Style Network’s “Giuliana & Bill” and is the executive producer of the Discovery Channel’s “Airplane Repo.” A published author, he wrote Beyond The Lemonade Stand
to educate and motivate young people about the value of money. All proceeds were donated to charity.
Director, producer and choreographer Adam Shankman presented the Operation Smile Founders Circle Award to Jennifer Salke and her son Henry, which honors unique supporters who have made outstanding contributions as a family. Jennifer Salke was named President of NBC Entertainment in July, 2011, responsible for primetime and daytime programming. Previously, Salke was Executive Vice President of Creative Affairs at Twentieth Century Fox Television. Henry Salke was born with a cleft lip, which was repaired early in his life. In 2009, Henry wrote a letter about his own experience and asked family and friends to help give smiles to needy children around the world through Operation Smile. To see the effects of their support firsthand, Jennifer and Henry volunteered on an Operation Smile medical mission in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August 2011.
Operation Smile Co-Founders Kathy and Dr. William Magee presented the Wallis Annenberg Award for Public Service to philanthropist Sue Tsao. In 2008, Tsao established the Sue Tsao Operation Smile Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Fellowship where eight doctors from countries throughout Asia underwent intensive training at Chang Gung Hospital in China and completed fellowships in the fields of microsurgery, craniofacial surgery, pediatric anesthesia and pediatric intensive care. They have all gone on to make important contributions in their own communities as Operation Smile volunteer surgeons. Tsao recently volunteered on an Operation Smile medical mission in Hohhot, China.
Operation Smile’s 2011 Smile Gala was produced for the seventh consecutive year by Scott Mauro Entertainment, Inc.
For updates on Operation Smile’s global efforts, visit the daily blogs on www.operationsmile.org
, follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/operationsmile
, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/operationsmile.
About Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org)
Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is an international children’s medical charity with a presence in more than 60 countries, whose network of more than 5,000 medical volunteers from 76 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 2 million patient evaluations and conducted over 200,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities, as well as patients suffering from burns. To lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency in developing countries, Operation Smile donates medical equipment, provides year-round medical treatment through Comprehensive Care Centers, and trains local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their own local communities.
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