NEW YORK, July 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Smile Train, the world's largest cleft charity, is joining in the celebration of July's National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month. The non-profit will participate in events worldwide, stretching from the United States, Latin America, the United Kingdom and Africa, in hopes of increasing awareness for cleft lip and palate.
Smile Train will be involved in the following events throughout the month of July:
- The Championships, Wimbledon (Sunday, July 7th) - Smile Train has been selected as the charity partner to perform the coin toss at the Gentlemen's Singles Final, Wimbledon 2013. Pinki Sonkar, one of their most well-known patients, whose free cleft repair surgery was captured in the 2008 Oscar® winning documentary short, Smile Pinki, will perform the coin toss.
- Skyline Restoration's 5th Annual Golf Classic (Monday, July 8th) - The golf event benefiting Smile Train, will take place at the Village Club of Sands Point in Sands Point, N.Y. General Manager of the New York Islanders, Garth Snow, will be in attendance, as well as Coach Jack Capuano. The day will conclude with a dinner, awards ceremony, and raffle.
- Makeover for Smile Train partner FUNDEF (Tuesday, July 9th) - The talented artist Jason Hulfish, who has appeared on the hit television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, will visit Smile Train partner hospital FUNDEF in Lajeado, Brazil to paint an inspiring mural that will bring color and smiles to local cleft patients. FUNDEF was awarded this unique opportunity upon winning a Smile Train-conducted contest with its Latin American partner hospitals encouraging them to increase the number of surgeries performed.
- Journey of Smiles: Tanzania (Sunday, July 14th – Friday, July 19th) – A group of Smile Train supporters will have the opportunity to travel to Tanzania to visit Smile Train partner hospitals. This expedition will provide participants a first-hand look at how the organization is changing the lives of children around the globe. Smile Train established its first partnership in Africa in 2003, and has provided more than 2,800 surgeries in Tanzania alone.
- Rebecca Herbst's Soiree (Thursday, July 25th) - Long time Smile Train supporter and General Hospital actress, Rebecca Herbst, will host her annual soiree in Los Angeles. All proceeds from the evening will benefit Smile Train. Rebecca will meet fans, host a Q & A, and auction off memorabilia from the show.
- Oakland Athletics Miles for Smiles Treadmill Run (Friday, July 26th) - The Oakland Athletics will highlight Smile Train during a home game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Angie Balfour, wife of Oakland A's pitcher Grant Balfour, is teaming up with additional players' wives to participate in a run during the entirety of the game to raise funds for the charity. The wives will take turns running on a treadmill throughout the game with the goal of collectively completing a marathon by the game's end. In addition, proceeds from ticket sales will go to Smile Train.
- Nashville Nights Event with Scott Reeves and Friends (Sunday, July 28th) - Former General Hospital and The Young and the Restless actor Scott Reeves will donate proceeds from his Nashville Nights event in Los Angeles to Smile Train. During the evening Reeves will entertain fans by performing an acoustic show with special guests.
"Smile Train strives each day to raise awareness in our initiative to repair cleft lip and palate worldwide," said Susannah Schaefer, CEO of Smile Train. "We could not be more thrilled that these organizations and supporters have partnered with our team to celebrate the gift of giving a child a new smile."
"The power of a child's smile is something that is impossible to measure. A bright, healthy smile gives a child confidence. As a parent, to see my children smile can make me forget about any worries I may have had earlier in the day," said Garth Snow, General Manager of the New York Islanders. "The efforts of Smile Train to ensure that no child is left unable to smile are amazing. Smile Train is not only providing children with a new smile, they're giving them a brighter future."
Smile Train will continue its social media campaign through July, which kicked off mid-June in support of Wimbledon. Fans can join in the celebration by sharing one of five SmileyGraphs, Smile Train's special infographic for the campaign, found at www.smiletrain.org/pinki. Thanks to corporate sponsor InfoCision, a telemarketing services company, during The Championships, Wimbledon, any share or retweet tagged #SmileyGraph will trigger a $15.00 donation to Smile Train. Fans can also like Smile Train on Facebook and follow @SmileTrain to learn more.
Smile Train is proud to be part of the National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness & Prevention Month. Smile Train's mission is simple - to provide every child born with a cleft, anywhere in the world, the opportunity to live a full and productive life. It can cost just $250.00 to repair a cleft and takes as little as 45 minutes. For more information on Smile Train please visit www.SmileTrain.org.
About Smile Train
Smile Train's 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 millions of children are suffering with unrepaired clefts. Most cannot eat or speak properly and aren't allowed to attend school or hold a job. They 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 http://www.smiletrain.org/.
SOURCE Smile Train