Operation Smile to Honor Harrison Ford, John Stamos and Susan Casden at the 9th Annual Smile Gala in Los Angeles Billy Bush Will Host and Members of the Cast of GLEE Will Give Special Performance

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Operation Smile, a worldwide children's medical charity, will honor Harrison Ford, John Stamos and Susan Casden at its 9th Annual Smile Gala on September 24, 2010, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Access Hollywood host Billy Bush will serve as Master of Ceremonies and a special performance will be given by members of the cast of GLEE. The Smile Gala is co-chaired by Dayna and Steven Bochco, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, Vicky and Raphael Mense, Kelly and Ron Meyer, Ryan Murphy, Jennifer Nicholson-Salke, and Leslie and Robert Zemeckis.  

The John Connor Humanitarian Service Award is presented to those individuals who have demonstrated their concern and love for their fellow man through their actions and deeds. This year's recipient will be legendary actor and humanitarian Harrison Ford. In February 2010, Ford volunteered his time, piloting skills and aircraft in response to an urgent request from Operation Smile for logistical support after the organization announced it was sending additional teams and over 2 1/2 tons of medical supplies across three locations in Haiti. Ford made several trips over a two-day period to a remote dirt landing strip in Haiti and delivered a team of Operation Smile volunteers along with critical medical supplies. Ford has become one of the most popularly acclaimed actors of our time with a body of work that includes 41 feature films. Through starring roles in such cinematic blockbusters as the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies, The Fugitive, Air Force One and Patriot Games, he has come to embody the quintessential American hero for moviegoers around the world. Strongly committed to environmental concerns, Ford is actively involved in a number of conservation groups including Conservation International.

The Universal Smile Award will be presented to actor/producer John Stamos. Stamos' career has spanned over 25 years, beginning with the hit soap General Hospital, later segueing to the popular ABC series Full House, and recently starring in NBC's Emmy Award-winning drama series ER. Stamos continues to find success in many different areas of the entertainment world. He can be seen this season on HBO's Entourage as well as the Fox hit series GLEE. Stamos also has enjoyed tremendous success on Broadway starring in Bye Bye Birdie, Nine, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Cabaret. Through his St. Amos banner, he produced and starred in a Lifetime original movie The Two Mr. Kissels, ABC's Jake in Progress and Thieves. Currently in development is a project for Lifetime titled Safe Haven, based on a charity Project Cuddle® for which Stamos is National Spokesperson and Chairman of the Advisory Board. Stamos also has displayed his musical talents while touring with "The Beach Boys."

Philanthropist and long-time Operation Smile supporter Susan Casden will receive the Wallis Annenberg Public Service Award. In 1991, Casden participated in Operation Smile's inaugural mission to China and earlier this year took part in a mission to Cebu, Philippines. Casden has been an active board member of Aviva Family and Children's Services and a member of the Women's Initiative Advisory Council for the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas. She also sits on the Board of Councilors of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California (USC) and, with her husband, Alan, established the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life at USC. Casden is a founding member of the Friends Committee of the Asian Cultural Council in Hong Kong and serves on the Visiting Committee of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Her philanthropic interests and activities reflect her global perspective and are focused in three areas: children and family, education and the arts.

The need for quality cleft care is urgent. Every 3 minutes, it is estimated that a child is born with a cleft condition. 1 in 10 children born with a cleft die before their first birthday. Children born with a cleft are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. With the help of medical volunteers and generous donations, Operation Smile provides free surgeries to children around the world to heal their smiles and transform their lives.

Individual tickets for The Smile Gala in L.A. will begin at $500 and table packages begin at $5,000. For ticket information, please call Grant Associates (323) 904-4400. Operation Smile's 2010 Smile Gala will be produced for the sixth consecutive year by Scott Mauro, Executive Producer of Scott Mauro Entertainment, Inc.

For Gala information, please visit www.operationsmile.org/lagala. For updates on Operation Smile's global efforts, visit the daily blogs on www.operationsmile.org, follow @operationsmile on Twitter, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/operationsmile.

About Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org)

Founded in 1982 by Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee, Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a worldwide children's medical charity whose network of global volunteers are dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. Since its founding, Operation Smile has treated more than 150,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities and the organization has a presence in more than 50 countries. In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency.

SOURCE Operation Smile



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