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Smile Train 25th Anniversary Gala

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The leading global organization dedicated to cleft care, Smile Train, hosted their prestigious 25th-anniversary gala, commemorating its unwavering commitment spanning a quarter of a century. This momentous occasion celebrated their steadfast dedication to providing high-quality, comprehensive cleft care, ensuring equitable access for all with two million surgeries.

“Smile Train’s impact has only grown. Through economic crises, wars, and even a global pandemic,” Susannah Schaefer, President and CEO of Smile Train, said as she opened the evening. “I think the results speak for themselves – tens of thousands of surgeons and interdisciplinary medical professionals trained, millions of successful surgeries, tens of billions of dollars in global economic impact, and a galaxy of smiles!”

Smile Train 25th Anniversary Gala

Source: Rob Kim / Getty

Hosted by TV personality and executive producer Jeannie Mai, the event was a celebration of the organization’s global network impact, which has brought smiles to children worldwide. Kimora Lee Simmons, Naiomi Glasses, and Shoba Lonappan were honored for their efforts in transforming children’s lives and smiles forever. Multi-platinum recording artist Jordin Sparks delighted attendees with a musical performance, and DJ Jazzy Jeff kept the party going with a lively afterparty.

DJ Jazzy Jeff djing at a gala

Source: Rob Kim / Getty

Kimora Lee Simmons, a renowned entrepreneur, creative director, and absolute IT Girl, as well as a dedicated Smile Train Ambassador, was honored with the prestigious Goodwill Ambassador Award. This award recognizes an outstanding member of the Smile Train family who has consistently and selflessly advocated for the organization’s mission.

Smile Train 25th Anniversary Gala

Source: Rob Kim / Getty

She accepted the award presented by her daughters, Aoki and Ming Lee, saying, “A child’s smile is universal… I recently had the opportunity to visit Peru [with Smile Train]. I was able to bring the well-wishes and support of hundreds of women who believe in Smile Train’s work. I also had the opportunity to hear the stories of children and families who are transformed by these surgeries.  Let’s keep changing the world for these kids.”

In addition, Diné weaver and designer Naoimi Glasses accepted the Smile Maker Award, recognizing a cleft-affected person who inspires others with courage and spirit. Nurse and Smile Train Partner Shoba Lonappan also received the Teach a Woman to Fish Award, celebrating a core philosophy of Smile Train’s work since its founding by empowering local caregivers and providers to care for children with clefts.


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Kimora Lee Simmons Receives The Goodwill Ambassador Award At The Smile Train 25th Anniversary Gala  was originally published on

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