Our LA Correspondent and Host Jackie Watson hits the red carpet for Operation Smile.
Los Angeles, CA – Operation Smile, the international children’s medical charity, will honor Ken Corday, Executive Producer of Days of our Lives; Access Hollywood anchor, Billy Bush and the Sharon D. Lund Foundation at its 2014 Smile Gala, Friday, September 19, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills. Smile Ambassador and host/actress, Brooke Burke-Charvet, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the second year, and The Voice star, Judith Hill, will perform. Kevin Beggs, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, Jennifer and Henry Salke will co-chair.
“This year’s honorees exemplify what our organization is truly about,” said Operation Smile Co-Founder, Dr. Bill Magee. “We’re fortunate to have such dedicated individuals who are not only passionate about changing children’s lives, but offer hands-on support including attending medical mission trips around the globe.”
Operation Smile provides free surgery for children worldwide suffering from facial deformities, to heal their smiles and transform their lives. Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. A baby born with a cleft condition has twice the odds of dying before celebrating their first birthday. The Smile Gala is a premier event, helping Operation Smile provide hope and healthy futures for children worldwide.
Operation Smile Ambassador and award-winning actress Deidre Hall will present Operation Smile’s John Connor Humanitarian Award to her long-time friend and Days of our Lives Executive Producer, Ken Corday. Corday was merely a teenager when his parents, Ted and Betty, created NBC’s daytime drama Days of our Lives in 1965. A year after the show’s inception, his father passed away and Corday became his mother’s support system for the show. Betty Corday taught him everything he would need to know to continue the family legacy, which he has done. Prior to taking over as the show’s Executive Producer, Corday received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California Santa Cruz before receiving a Master’s Degree in Music from San Jose State University. He has received numerous awards including three Emmys® and twelve Soap Opera Digest awards. In addition to supporting Operation Smile and its miraculous work, Ken Corday and his wife, Sherry, are actively involved in helping to sustain the humanitarian efforts of a number of worthy causes including Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, The Lopez Foundation, The National Kidney Foundation, the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Operation Smile’s John Connor Humanitarian Award honors those who have demonstrated concern and love for their fellow man through their actions and deeds.
The Sharon D. Lund Foundation is the recipient of The Wallis Annenberg Public Service Award.Formed in 1973, the Sharon D. Lund Foundation focuses on improving the lives of children and families around the world by supporting projects and community outreach programs in education, health care, and exposure to the arts, as well as human/animal interaction and preservation. It honors its founder the late Sharon Lund’s interests and traditions by partnering with great organizations and people who share the common vision of making the world a better place. The foundation’s partnership with Operation Smile began in 2004 and was renewed with a $2.5 million commitment last year. As Sharon D. Lund foundation Board Member Robert Wilson said, “The foundation is excited about providing a multi-year pledge in support of Operation Smile’s vision of establishing multiple international surgical centers that train and empower local medical communities.” Today, Lund’s legacy lives on through her two children, Michelle and Brad Lund, who serve as Board Members.
Award-winning actress and star of upcoming NBC series Bad Judge, Kate Walsh, will present the Universal Smile Award to Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush. Bush started on Access Hollywood as an East Coast correspondent in December 2001. Since then, he’s covered countless high-profile red carpet events and starting in 2004, reported for the Olympic Games on NBC. In 2008, he returned to his roots in radio with the launch of “The Billy Bush Show,” a nationally syndicated talk and music radio show with Dial Global that reaches a weekly audience of 11 million listeners. He also has “Billy Bush’s Weekend Countdown” on Dial Global which showcases the week’s top 30 songs in a four-hour segment. Bush has proudly served on Operation Smile’s Board of Governors for over six years and is truly passionate about changing children’s lives. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Lollipop Theater Network, a non-profit organization which arranges private screenings of newly released movies for children suffering from debilitating illnesses.
For updates on Operation Smile’s global efforts, visit the daily blogs on www.operationsmile.org, follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/operationsmile, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/operationsmile.
About Operation Smile
Operation Smile, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is an international children’s medical charity with a presence in more than 60 countries, whose network of more than 5,400 medical volunteers from over 80 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 220,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. To build long-term self-sufficiency in resource poor environments, Operation Smile trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their local communities. Operation Smile also donates medical equipment, supplies and provides year-round medical treatment through its worldwide centers.