Just Smiles Gala fundraiser for Operation Smile

The Just Smiles Gala night benefiting Operation Smile, promised a glamorous evening of mystery, martinis and magic in classic James Bond style at the Hycroft Mansion and it delivered on its promise.

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Flavour of the night! | Norm Lee Photography

The highly acclaimed ‘Just Smiles Gala’ for Operation Smile was held at the beginning of April in conjunction with Miss Universe Canada. Known for their ability to transport guests into the past with their sophisticated and richly stimulating events, Laura Guzman (Miss Universe Canada 2016 finalist), Lavanya Hiremath (model and event production), and their organizing committee brought a James Bond themed event to the Hycroft mansion.

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Laura Guzman | Norm Lee Photography

The second incarnation of this charity fundraiser was evening of food, fun, and fashion. Guests brought their glamour attitudes that would have made Miss Moneypenny blush as they stepped in to a different time that is afforded by holding the event at such an historic venue.

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Loretta Lai & Paul Oei | Norm Lee Photography

“It was a well-attended mansion party with luxury cars, beautiful women, high rollers, action, intrigue–many of the elements you’d expect from a 007 affair, plus a few things you might not … all for a great cause.”  Kent Schmor, KS Champagne Parties

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Top notch entertainment via ballroom dancers & duo Eli Bennett and Rosemary Siemens performed | Norm Lee Photography
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Well dressed attendees enjoying the evening. Lavanya Hiremath, one of the organizers – top right | Norm Lee Photography

All money raised from ticket sales and the event will be used to heal the smiles of children with cleft palates and other facial deformities. This tremendous work is done through the registered international charity Operation Smile.  Last year’s debut event took place at the Fox Cabaret.

Operation Smile conducts hundreds of medical missions in over 60 countries to cure cleft lip or cleft palate deformities.  Children who are born with a cleft condition have a gap in either the roof of their mouth, in their lip, or both.  Facial deformities like these are not just superficial in nature – in addition to the societal stigma, they affect babies’ ability to breastfeed, to function and to lead normal lives. As one of the 4 most common birth defects to be recorded [as per studies in the US], Operation Smile believes that all children should have access to safe surgery and medical care.

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Camilo the Magician entertaining guests | Norm Lee Photography
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DJ Cho Cha and friend | Norm Lee Photography

It is estimated that each operation costs an average of $240 USD and can be performed in as little as 45 minutes. A small gift like this changes the lives of a child as well as the people who love them. Although this years event may have fell short a few smiles, the organizers were inundated with more items from their sponsors than they could comfortably auction and are currently setting up an online auction page where everyone will be able to bid on items from hotel stays, to interior design packages to beauty products. 

The BTS team for ‘Just Smiles’ for Operation Smile

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Models and La Biosthetique Team | Norm Lee Photography

Article by Helen Siwak. All photography credited.

 

 

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