Smiles for Hope charity gala a success
August 09, 2013

Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA) students raised $4,104.70 in support of Operation Smile at the second annual Smiles for Hope dinner gala fundraiser on July 25 in the Georgian Dining Room, Barrie Campus.

group of young women dressed up hold homemade paper cutout smiles to the camera

For CDA students, their involvement with Operation Smile is extremely relevant since they may find themselves working in a therapy setting with clients who have such disorders.

Community members, and Georgian staff, faculty and students enjoyed a delicious meal provided by Hospitality and Tourism students, an extravagant cupcake display provided by Zehrs Markets, a 50/50 draw, a raffle and a silent auction. CDA students surpassed their pledge of raising funds to cover the cost of 10 Operation Smile surgeries – raising enough to cover 17!

Patricia Vidov, guest speaker from Operation Smile, shared the poignant journey of Talita. Many dinner guests teared up witnessing the joy on Talita’s face when she saw her beautiful smile for the first time after surgery. View Talita’s journey: Part one and part two.

A heartfelt thank you to all who supported the CDA students in not only reaching their fundraising goal, but surpassing it! You have played a part in changing the lives of 17 people with a cleft lip and/or palate. A special thanks to Dean Mary O’Farrell-Bowers and the entire CDA faculty for attending and supporting the gala.

“This year’s CDA students should be very proud of their efforts,” says Marian Bolhaar, Clinic Manager for Georgian’s Harmonize for Speech, Hearing and Language Clinic. “You couldn’t have asked for a more successful event!”

Last year, CDA students created the first-ever Canadian college fundraising chapter for Operation Smile – a non-profit international organization dedicated to providing cleft lip and/or palate, facial tumor or burn surgeries at no cost to children and adults in predominantly developing countries.

Each surgery costs approximately $240 and takes 45 minutes to complete. Without the surgery, individuals with these types of disorders may struggle with feeding, swallowing, speech, language and hearing problems.