“These funds will go a long way toward meeting our 2012 goal of raising $100,000 for this wonderful organization,” Fisk-Taylor said. As of August 1, PPA Charities’ 2012 fund-raising total stands at $72,180. Because Operation Smile’s medical professionals and support staff volunteer their services, it costs only $240 to provide a simple cleft lip surgery to a child in desperate need. Therefore the funds raised by PPA members so far in 2012 means that over 300 smiles will be saved.
The Celebration of Smiles Day promotion provided consumers with the opportunity to receive a mini-session and a 5x7 professional portrait in exchange for a donation to Operation Smile of only $24; therefore, for every 10 sessions photographed by a participating studio, another smile could be saved by the volunteer professionals of Operation Smile. The official date for the first Celebration of Smiles event was April 21, but studios that had commitments on that date were allowed to conduct the fundraiser on alternate dates in April or May.
Next year’s Celebration of Smiles Day is scheduled for April 6, 2013. PPA members who participated in 2012 will automatically receive information about the 2013 fundraiser. Others who would like to participate in 2013 should email PPACH Executive Director Bert Behnke.
Because Operation Smile medical and support personnel donate their time, it costs only $240 to provide the gift of life-changing surgery to a deserving child. When adding this year’s Texas School donation to those of the previous three years, this means that Texas School students, instructors, and directors have donated a total of $87,669 to Operation Smile and therefore are responsible for saving 365 precious smiles!
The top student donation of $2,100 was made by attendees of the class taught by Greg and Lesa Daniel, and the following classes donated $1,000 or more: Doug Box and Randy Kerr, Kay Eskridge, Mary Fisk-Taylor and Jamie Hayes, Julie Klaasmeyer, Richard Sturdevant, Michael and Tina Timmons, Janice Wendt, and David Ziser.
Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
During Dr. Bill Magee’s appearance at Imaging USA in New Orleans, he referred briefly to Operation Smile's role in helping to repatriate the remains of U.S. POWs from Vietnam. Last fall this remarkable story was recounted in a 30-minute film, narrated by Craig T. Nelson, of “Coach” fame. It portrays the drama of the unlikely behind-the-scenes story that led up to Operation Smile’s 1989 mission to Vietnam and how it softened the hearts of former enemies and ultimately led to the normalization of between the U.S. and Vietnam. Here’s a summary of the film:
A Cure to War” uniquely weaves the stories of seven individuals, whose independent efforts would help to rebuild relations between Vietnam and the United States, recover the remains of soldiers lost in the Vietnam War, and bring smiles to tens of thousands of Vietnamese children and their families by providing access to free surgical healthcare.
Bridging stories from both present-day Vietnam and historical accounts leading up to Operation Smile’s historic 1989 medical mission, “A Cure to War” reveals the emotional and political roller coaster of how a children's charity and its medical volunteers opened the doors to normalization when so many other efforts had failed.
Since that first 1989 mission, when surgical teams were limited to operating only when electricity was available for 2 hours per day, Operation Smile has touched the lives of 30,000 children in Vietnam. If you watch the film, you'll see young Duy, the child whom PPA member Graham Wilson photographed on his mission to Vietnam in 2009. Graham's images are posted on the PPA Charities website at this link.
This inspiring film reminds us, as narrator Craig T. Nelson states: “Today, the simple smile of every child and family helped is a reminder of how the hard work of a small group of people can overcome decades of war and isolation and how a smile can bridge cultures and make friends of former enemies.” It also provides one more reason why PPA Photographers can be proud of their support of Operation Smile.
You can view the film at www.acuretowar.com.
Sorry for the delayed response. I am in Asia right now and have not had good access to my email. I love what you are doing, and will send this off to Kristie Porcaro who is head of our Development and to Kyla Shawyer who heads our Marketing. They will know the best route to help you.
On this trip we were in the Philippines as we begin to help with the celebration of our birth there almost 30 years ago. Kath and I had the opportunity to be interviewed on a TV morning talk show, ABS - CBN, to share our message with the Filipino Community. As we left for the airport, they asked us to meet a 9 year old boy with a Cleft Lip and Palate brought to the studio by his Mom and Grandmother. He has never been to school. They live in Manila and yet they never knew that their child could be helped until recently.
Although we have watched this same story unfold over and over again, it never ceases to amaze me that this scenario still exists even in the major cities of the countries where Operation Smile has a presence.
With the help of our staff and volunteers in Manila, we immediately organised for the family to be helped at the "Makati" mission which will take place in a few weeks. That simple moment of kindness took all of about 5 minutes. Yet if Operation Smile Philippines didn't exist that "magic" moment could not have happened. We left that child, his mom and grandmother all in tears as they tried to thank us and as usual tears filled all of our eyes as well.
I am often asked why do we continue to push ourselves now 30 years later. At times it is difficult to put into words. However, probably the easiest way to explain it still brings me back to chance encounters such as the one that we had just a few mornings ago. That is what keeps our drive and passion alive.
However it is also the opportunity to work with organizations such as yours. Organizations who are willing to stand side by side with us as we plan the future. That is what gives us the courage to be confident that we will be able to keep the promises we have made to these families. The promise that we will do our best to be "present" for them.
Kathy and I thank you again for all that the PPA Charities has done and continues to do.
All the Best,
Wiliam P. Magee Jr., DDS, MD,