Friday, August 20, 2010

Smile Train Shows This Weekend

Yup, it's that time of year again. Thanks to my co-coordinator, Steve Loukas, and the pure naked decency of four - count 'em - FOUR improv groups, we are able to put on three comedy improv shows this weekend - all benefits go to Smile Train.

Nobody knows why but 1 in 700 children is born with a cleft lip and/or palate, like little Shiva here - at left. (See her post-surgery photo below.) For reasons unknown, there seems to be more of these children in poor countries. Perhaps something in the water? Generally, the family reacts with sadness and horror, often abandoning the child by the side of the road and taking it as a curse upon them. Can you imagine? 

When it happens in this country, it's a fairly easy fix. Not so in rural sections of places like Africa, India and China. Smile Train has fixed 618,000 of these kids so far by training the local doctors and putting 100% of all donations toward surgeries. Fixing one child permanently costs $250 and takes 45 minutes.

The average age of the Smile Train patient is 6 six years old - old enough to know something is wrong with them, as many no longer attend school because of the taunts.

As many of you know, I grew up having multiple facial surgeries and it was no picnic. However, thanks to the luck of my Western birth, the steadfast love my family and friends, it seems like a distant memory - like it all happened to someone else. Still, I feel much gratitude - hence, this annual fundraiser.

If you are in Colorado and near the Denver area this weekend, please come to our shows! Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance from the links below.

Friday @ 7:30  - featuring The Rodents of Unusual Size and Monkey's Uncle!
Saturday @ 6 - featuring Intentionally Left Blank and The Denver Wigs!
Saturday @ 8- featuring The Denver Wigs!

If you can't make the shows but would still like to donate, please go here. NO AMOUNT TOO SMALL. Even $25 pays for sutures for one surgery. Last year we fixed EIGHT kids and made them whole again. I visited the Smile Train offices in New York recently and was informed that so far, Smile Train has fixed 618,000 children which translates to a lot more smiling going on in this beat-up world. 


To watch the trailer for 'Smile Pinki', the Academy Award-winning documentary on one girl's journey on Smile Train, go here.

(All photos borrowed from SmileTrain.)


Diane Drake said...

What an incredible cause!

Kath said...

Yay Heather!

What was the total 'kids helped" count?

ClizBiz said...

Kath - I haven't announced it yet because we still have some donations trickling in. I hope to announce the final amount/kids fixed by mid-next week. Thanks again for coming!