NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In honor of World Smile Day®, Smile Train, the world's largest cleft charity, is hosting several celebratory events with the goal of raising both funds and awareness of the issues faced by children living with unrepaired clefts in the developing world.
The celebrations kicked off with the 2nd Annual World Smile Day® celebration held by Smile Train's Young Leadership Circle on Thursday, October 1 from 7:30 pm –10 pm at Taj Lounge. The event was hosted by Gregg Sulkin, star of MTV's "Faking It," and included an open bar, hors d'oeuvres, fortune teller readings and more. There was also a presentation about Smile Train's sustainable training model, which empowers local doctors in developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgeries in their own communities.
"We are excited to celebrate World Smile Day® today as we continue to raise awareness around cleft lip and palate and our transformative solutions," said Smile Train CEO Susannah Schaefer. "World Smile Day® inspires individuals to be thankful for their ability to smile and reminds them how important it is to provide that same opportunity to those in need."
Today, October 2, Smile Train will host a World Smile Day® event in the north plaza of the Flatiron Building from 11 am – 4 pm. This interactive installation includes a photo board on which a photo of a cleft patient's brand new smile will be revealed every five minutes, marking the rate at which Smile Train provides a new free repair surgery – every five minutes.
There will be plenty of opportunities to take photos, win prizes and engage with special guests including 5-year-old Zachary, a patient who received his free cleft surgery at a local Smile Train partner hospital in Ethiopia.
"Together, we can meet our goal of raising enough money to create 60 new smiles on World Smile Day®," said Schaefer.
Smile Train invites everyone around the world to join the World Smile Day® conversation on social media by posting a picture of their smile via Instagram using the #SmileTrainWSD hashtag. Learn more about Smile Train's World Smile Day® activities at smiletrain.org/wsd.
About Smile Train
Smile Train is an international children's charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Smile Train's sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their own communities. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.
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.
SOURCE Smile Train