Operation Smile’s 3rd Annual Houston Smile Gala took place at Hotel Zaza on Friday, April 29, 2016. Event Chairs, Viet Hoang and Duyen Huynh Nguyen, and Master of Ceremonies, Chau Nguyen, welcomed more than 250 guests for the evening, and presented special awards donated by Spanish porcelain company Lladró to ANR Builders Founder Irma Brindis (Wallis Annenberg Public Service Award), Amerapex Corporation President and CEO Bashar Kalai and his wife Brigitte (John Connor Humanitarian Award) and Prime Noble Realty CEO Nick Merchant and his wife Sneha (Universal Smile Award).
Event sponsors included Manuscript Cellars, Sushi Inc, Le Dragon d’Or, Martell Cognac, and KT Printing and guests were treated to a mesmerizing performance by troupe members from Cirque Noir. Pediatric dentist Dr. Dane Hoang received a standing ovation after sharing video footage of her tenth medical mission with Operation Smile in April to Hue, Vietnam, arousing live auction which featured tickets to the Season 10 finale of NBC’s The Voice among other highly sought after prizes, helped the event raise over $200,000 to provide life-changing cleft lip and palate surgery for children around the world. Now that’s something to smile about!
Operation Smile is an international medical charity that has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities. It is one of the oldest and largest volunteer-based organizations dedicated to improving the health and lives of children worldwide through access to surgical care. Since 1982, Operation Smile has developed expertise in mobilizing volunteer medical teams to conduct surgical missions in resource-poor environments while adhering to the highest standards of care and safety. Operation Smile helps to fill the gap in providing access to safe, well-timed surgeries by partnering with hospitals, governments and ministries of health, training local medical personnel, and donating much-needed supplies and equipment to surgical sites around the world. Founded and based in Virginia, U.S., Operation Smile has extended its global reach to more than 60 countries through its network of credentialed surgeons, pediatricians, doctors, nurses, and student volunteers.
Photos by Mitchell Alexander & Quy Tran