The Operation Smile
Utah Chapter is hosting its 5th Annual “Breakfast for Smiles” on September 20 at 7:30 a.m., to raise funds and awareness for Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity. Operation Smile is recognizing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its 75-year-old LDS Welfare Program and the Church’s efforts to bless the lives of people worldwide, including its partnership with Operation Smile. The title sponsor for the breakfast is the Little Heroes Foundation, whose mission is to improve the mental and physical well-being of children throughout the world by serving, supporting and enhancing human life.
Bishop H. David Burton will serve as keynote speaker for “Breakfast for Smiles.” Operation Smile is grateful to Brooke Walker of KSL TV Channel-5, who will return as emcee for the event, and who recently volunteered on an Operation Smile medical mission in Kenya. Each year, the annual Breakfast for Smiles raises more than $125,000 to support medical missions worldwide. Salt Lake City is the longest-running Operation Smile Chapter, established 24 years ago.
At this year’s Breakfast for Smiles, Operation Smile welcomes guest singer Chadleen Alberth Lacdo-o, who was born in the Philippines with a cleft palate. Chadleen starred in the largest televised singing contest in the Philippines, “Little Big Star.” She also has been featured in numerous media outlets including The Philippine Daily Inquirer
, Philippine Star
, The Freeman
, Cebu Daily News
, and top-rated television shows such as Probe Team, Rate K, ANC’s Storyline, Gem Net, MagTV and Babaye.
As a little girl, Chadleen dreamed of becoming a great singer. “A teacher once asked who would like to volunteer to sing,” Chadleen recalls. “I didn’t have second thoughts about going up in front and singing, knowing that would be the happiest moment for me. Yet, when I looked around amidst my euphoria, I saw the joke in all my classmates’ eyes and I wished, from that time on, that I was never born.”
“What kept me going was the love and support that I saw and felt in my family, and my dream that one day God would let me sing. I kept hoping that one day, a miracle would happen and my cleft palate would simply disappear,” Chadleen explains. That hope was realized during an Operation Smile medical mission in Cebu in the Philippines. That day, Operation Smile changed her life and made a little girl’s dream come true.
Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft. One in 10 of those children will die before their first birthday. Those who survive are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. Many times, they are shunned from their own community. With the help of dedicated medical volunteers and generous donations, Operation Smile provides free reconstructive surgery for children worldwide, healing their smiles and giving them hope for a brighter future.
The Little Heroes Foundation was founded in 2007 by Travis and LaRee Hansen. Travis Hansen is a former NBA player, drafted by the Atlanta Hawks. He played eight seasons in the Euroleague. When he and his wife began researching the adoption procedures in Russia, they found heart-wrenching statistics of Russian orphans. At that moment, they were deeply touched and felt inspired to help the children in Russia and around the world. Soon after, Nature’s Sunshine Products jumped on board to become the founding sponsor. Together with their compassion and vision, Nature’s Sunshine and the Little Heroes Foundation are creating a better world for children everywhere.
Bishop H. David Burton was called to be the Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1995, and was sustained at General Conference in 1996. He previously served as the first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, after serving for 14 years as secretary to the Presiding Bishopric and as assistant Church budget officer for a year. Bishop Burton has served in the Church as a missionary in Australia, bishop, bishop's counselor, stake high councilor, stake president, and temple sealer. A native of Salt Lake City, he and his wife are the parents of five children.
The Church’s LDS Welfare Program began in 1936 to help Church members suffering from the devastating effects of the Great Depression in the United States. Today, that welfare program has expanded to all corners of the globe and assists people of all faiths. The objective of the welfare program is to care for the needy while teaching principles that will help people become self-reliant and retain their self-respect.
For Breakfast for Smiles sponsorship information, please contact Kristin Liszkowski at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Operation Smile’s global efforts, please visit 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 surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities, as well as patients suffering from burns. To build 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.