LOS ANGELES, Aug. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Operation Smile, an international children's medical charity, will honor Smile Ambassadors Zachary Levi and Giuliana and Bill Rancic at its 10th annual Smile Gala on 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, also will be honored. "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Gala Co-Chairs are 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.
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. This year's recipient will be actor Zachary Levi, who stars in the NBC show "Chuck" and recently appeared in films "Tangled," "Alvin and Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," "Spiral," 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.
Operation Smile will present its 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.
Jennifer Salke and her son Henry will receive the Operation Smile Founders Circle Award, 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 will present 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.
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 at (323) 904-4400. Operation Smile's 2011 Smile Gala will be 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.
SOURCE Operation Smile