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Operation Smile to Honor Santo Versace at the 8th Annual Smile Gala in New York

Brooke Burke and David Charvet, Natalie Morales, Giada De Laurentiis and John Salley to Serve as Hosts

New York 5/05/2011 12:40 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)

Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity, will honor Santo Versace and Ethicon at its 8th Annual Smile Gala on May 5th, at Cipriani Wall Street. Brooke Burke and David Charvet, Natalie Morales, Giada De Laurentiis and John Salley will serve as segment hosts and a special performance will be given by Neon Trees. The Smile Gala is co-chaired by Lacey Tisch-Sidney and Lowell Sidney, Gillian Hearts Simonds and Christian Simonds, Vanessa Trump and Donald Trump Jr., Lucrezia Buccellati, Maggio Cipriani, Lydia Hearst, Caroline Cummings Rafferty and Nicholas Rafferty, Antonio Versace and Wesley Vultaggio.  

The President of Gianni Versace S.p.A, Santo Versace, will be awarded with Operation Smile’s John Connor Award, which is presented to those individuals who have demonstrated their concern and love for their fellow man through their actions and deeds. Mr. Versace became the Chairman of the Operation Smile Board in Italy in 2007 and through his personal contributions and leadership, the organization has raised over $1.8 million in just the past year.  Mr. Versace has volunteered on medical missions in Morocco, Ethiopia, and Jordan.

In acknowledgment of their international philanthropic leadership, Operation Smile has selected Ethicon to receive the Medical Visionary Award, recognizing medical professionals and groups who have utilized their skills for the care of children around the world. The recipient of this award has demonstrated that the true value of medicine is in sharing it with those who need it most. The “Scientia” sculpture for the award has been donated by Lladro USA, who has been a partner with Operation Smile since 2003.
Since 1988, Ethicon has donated over $15 million in in-kind donations, including sutures, hemostat and Dermabond and will donate more than $350,000 in cash this year through a corporate campaign that has launched employee giving from the United States, Europe, Middle East and Africa. This program continues to motivate Ethicon employees, as they wish to continue supporting Operation Smile in the future globally. Ethicon’s generous donations have helped change the lives of thousands of children around the world.

The Smile Event in New York is one of the most anticipated events of the season. The event is made possible with the support of The Surrey Hotel, Buccelati, Pallini Limoncello, Poltrona Frau and Cipriani.

The need for quality cleft care is urgent. Every 3 minutes, it is estimated that a child is born with a cleft condition. One in 10 children born with a cleft die before their first birthday. Children born with clefts are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. With the help of medical volunteers and generous supporters, Operation Smile provides free surgeries for children around the world to heal their smiles and transform their lives.

Individual tickets for The Smile Gala in New York will begin at $250 and table packages begin at $10,000. For ticket and gala information, please go to www.operationsmile.org/2011smileevent or call 917-214-6700. Operation Smile’s 2011 Smile Gala will be produced by Scott Mauro, Executive Producer of Scott Mauro Entertainment, Inc. For updates on Operation Smile’s global efforts, visit the daily blogs on www.operationsmile.org, follow @OperationSmile on Twitter, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/operationsmile.

About Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org)
Founded in 1982 by Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee, Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a worldwide children’s medical charity whose network of global volunteers are dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. Since its founding, Operation Smile has treated more than 150,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities and the organization has a presence in more than 50 countries. In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency.

About Ethicon
Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company, is a trusted, world-wide leader in surgical care. For over a century,  Ethicon has continuously introduced innovations in wound closure, general surgery, wound management, women’s health and urology and aesthetic medicine that fulfill the company’s vision: Restoration of Body and of Life. For more information, visit www.ethicon.com.



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