Monday, 20 May 2024
Monday, 20 May 2024

Smile Train celebrates 25 years with gala honouring change makers

SMILE Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, has announced its 25th-anniversary gala, a major milestone event celebrating a quarter century of unwavering commitment to ensuring every person has access to high-quality comprehensive cleft care. The gala will take place on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

Jeannie Mai, TV personality and executive producer, will host the event, which will bring together Smile Train’s global network to celebrate the charity’s impact of lighting up children’s lives with smiles. The evening will honour entrepreneur, creative director, and Smile Train Ambassador Kimora Lee Simmons with the Goodwill Ambassador Award; Diné weaver and designer Naiomi Glasses with the Smile Maker Award; and Nurse and Smile Train Partner Shoba Lonappan with the Teach a Woman to Fish Award for their efforts to transform children’s lives – and smiles – forever. Multi-platinum recording artist Jordin Sparks will also join with a musical performance to celebrate the milestone evening, and DJ Jazzy Jeff will host the afterparty.

Susannah Schaefer, President and CEO, Smile Train said:

“Since our founding in 1999, Smile Train has made it possible for children with clefts all over the globe to lead healthy, full lives. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we’re thrilled to recognize Kimora, Naiomi, and Shoba, who consistently advocate for the cleft community. With their support, alongside our medical professionals, corporate and community partners, ambassadors and volunteers, and patients and families, we are paving the way to a world with universally accessible cleft treatment and care, where all children can truly thrive. We’re looking forward to celebrating our impact over the past 25 years and look ahead to the next 25.”

Smile Train is the only cleft-focused organization with a sustainable and local model of supporting cleft surgeries and other forms of essential care. To date, Smile Train has empowered more than 2,100 medical professionals across 90+ countries to provide free, high-quality, life-changing cleft treatment to 1.9 million people. The organization has also ensured a bright future for cleft treatment and care, hosting 40,000+ training opportunities for medical workers and partnering with more than 1,100 health centres.

Kate Bosworth and Justin Long serve as co-chairs of the Honorary Gala Committee alongside Kenyan Drake, Howie Mandel, Chanel Iman, Christie Brinkley, Elizabeth Gillies, and Reba McEntire. Bank of America serves as the Platinum Sponsor.

For more information about the event, please visit:


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