World’s largest cleft organization to host virtual celebration in honor of World Smile Day® with celebrity appearances and musical performances
NEW YORK – Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft organization, today launched their #540Today campaign timed to World Smile Day®, and will host a virtual fundraiser to benefit Smile Train and the 540 babies born with clefts each day – many without proper access to treatment. The World Smile Day® Live event will be hosted by Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Ciara.
The virtual fundraiser will feature celebrity guests and supporters including appearances by Gabrielle Union-Wade, Elle King, Elizabeth Henstridge, Christie Brinkley, Ginger Zee, Kenyan Drake, Kevin Smith, Jake Miller, Prince Royce, and Amanda Cerny, who will be connecting with fans while raising awareness and funds for Smile Train’s lifesaving work.
“I am proud to be a part of World Smile Day® Live with Smile Train, an organization that has made such a difference in the lives of so many children and families globally,” said Ciara. “As a mom of three, I admire the bravery and courage of families afflicted by health issues that coincide with being born with a cleft. Now, more than ever, it is so important to help others in whatever way we can.”
“With COVID-19 having put more than 37,000 cleft surgeries on hold since January, our work around the globe is more critical than ever as surgeries are able to resume,” said Susannah Schaefer, Smile Train President & Chief Executive Officer. “Today and every day, we are grateful for the supporters who make Smile Train’s work possible.”
World Smile Day® Live will begin tonight, Friday, October 2, at 8:00pm EDT, with special pre-show entertainment beginning at 7:30pm EDT. The schedule includes:
7:30-8:00pm EDT | Pre-show hosted by Elizabeth Henstridge and Zachary Burr Abel
Appearances by the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, musical guest Jake Miller, and more from the Smile Train community
8:00pm-9:00pm EDT | Main show hosted by Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Ciara
Appearances by Gabrielle Union-Wade, Christie Brinkley, Ginger Zee, Kevin Smith, Kenyan Drake, Amanda Cerny and more
Exclusive musical performances by Elle King
Register to attend World Smile Day® Live at: smiletrain.org/lp/wsd-2020 and share your experience on your social channels using the #540Today hashtag.
Smile Train hopes to raise $54,000 today in honor of the 540 babies born with a cleft every day around the world. The lifesaving surgery these children need can cost as little as $250 — but for many families this is out of reach. As part of the World Smile Day® celebration, supporters can donate to help the 540 babies born every day in desperate need of care. Whether it’s $5.40, $54, or $540, everything helps fund Smile Train’s critical work. To donate, text SMILE to 50155.
Smile Train is taking time during the celebration to thank corporate partner, GSK Consumer Healthcare, for their unwavering support since 2018. Working hand-in-hand with Smile Train, GSK Consumer Healthcare has provided valuable funding, awareness building, support, and expertise to help people impacted by clefts worldwide. Jayant Singh, Global Head of Oral Health at GSK Consumer Healthcare, will join the virtual event to share the accomplishments of the partnership.
“I am honored to be a part of Smile Train’s World Smile Day® celebration,” said Kevin Smith, writer, director, podcaster and Smile Train supporter. “My father was born with a cleft lip and palate and struggled through many surgeries growing up. He was the first person to tell me about Smile Train, and he did so through tears because he was so touched by their commitment to bettering the lives of children with cleft around the world. I encourage everybody to join me and thousands of others in supporting this critical cause.”
Smile Train's sustainable model empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. For over 20 years, Smile Train has supported safe and quality cleft care for more than 1.5 million children and will continue to do so until every child in need with a cleft has access to the care they deserve.
To learn more about Smile Train's global efforts, please visit smiletrain.org/. Follow Smile Train on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrain and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/SmileTrain.
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About Smile Train
Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.
Senior Director of Public Relations