Long Island, NY — On September 10, Smile Train hosted a 5k run and walk. The event was organized by the Bertuccio family in memory of their husband and father Joe, a long-time Smile Train supporter who was passionate about creating new smiles for children in the developing world. Held in Caumsett State Park, 80 participants ran and walked in support of Smile Train.
Susannah Schaefer, Smile Train CEO and local resident, kicked off the run with race coordinator Candy Bertuccio. “We are incredibly grateful to Candy and the Bertuccio family for hosting the run and walk. This community is committed to making the world a better place, and, by supporting Smile Train, they are ensuring that children born with clefts in developing countries will have the opportunity to lead full and productive lives,” Susannah shared.
To kickoff the first annual Smile Train Run and Walk, Miss Teen NY Isabella Griffith led a pre-race stretch, followed by remarks from Susannah Schaefer. During the race, Juliana Wells, a Smile Train Student Ambassador, hosted a bake sale in support of Smile Train on the race grounds. Participants also enjoyed interactive games with professional ice hockey team, the New York Islanders.
The event raised more than $7,000 for Smile Train, and those funds will help change the lives of 28 children.
The race was supported by generous sponsors, including Four Points by Sheraton, NeuLion, Oyster Bay Marine Center, Northwell Health Ice Center, Charles B. Wang International Foundation, NFP, and Outback Portable Toilets.
If you’d like to learn more about ways to help children with untreated clefts, please visit our Get Involved section. Your support will help a child receive their new smile and a second chance at life.