Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity, honored Kevin Beggs, Chairman of Lionsgate Television Group; Randy Sherman, M.D., F.A.C.S., Vice-chair of the Department of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; and award-winning actress Kate Walsh at its 2013 Smile Gala at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Smile Ambassador Brooke Burke-Charvet served as Mistress of Ceremonies; singers Sasha Allen and Neriah Fisher performed; and DJ Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys entertained guests at the after party. Stephanie Argyros, David Charvet, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, Krista Jajonie, Sue Naegle, Jennifer and Henry Salke, Daneia Sanadiki co-chaired.
A highlight of the evening included an announcement by Operation Smile Co-Founders Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee of a $2.5 million impact grant made by The Sharon D. Lund Foundation. Lladró, the world renowned creator of the finest in porcelain art, created the awards for the honorees and Le Dragon d’Or Fine Jewelry donated both an Art Deco tassel necklace and a ring with diamonds and blue sapphires for the raffle. Award-winning actor Stacy Keach, who was born with a cleft lip and partial cleft palate, gave a poignant speech about his childhood and overcoming obstacles to accomplish his dreams.
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. One in 10 of those children will die before their first birthday. The Smile Gala is a premier event, helping Operation Smile provide hope and healthy futures for children worldwide.
For Gala information, please visit www.operationsmile.org/lagala.
Operation Smile’s John Connor Humanitarian Award honors those who have demonstrated concern and love for their fellow man through their actions and deeds. This year’s recipient Kevin Beggs, Chairman of Lionsgate Television Group was presented the award by Michael Burns, Vice Chairman of Lionsgate. Beggs’ adopted brother, Estuardo, who was in the audience, was born with a cleft lip and he saw firsthand how corrective surgery gave his brother the ability to eat, speak and smile without fear of ridicule or rejection. Beggs oversees development and production of all Lionsgate scripted and non-scripted programming, encompassing 28 shows on 20 different networks, including numerous cable series, one broadcast network series, five shows in national syndication and several series for digital platforms. He has spearheaded the diversification of the Company’s television production operations, serves on the Board of Directors of TVGN (formerly TV Guide Network), Lionsgate’s 50/50 partnership with CBS Corporation, and played a key role in the launch of the premium entertainment channel EPIX in which Lionsgate is partnered with Viacom and MGM. Under Beggs’ leadership, the television division has become a leading supplier of programming, with a slate that includes the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men, the broadcast network series Nashville, the hit comedies Anger Management and Nurse Jackie and the recent breakthrough sensation Orange is the New Black.
Award-winning actor and humanitarian Harrison Ford presented the Wallis Annenberg Public Service Award to his friend Randy Sherman, M.D., F.A.C.S. Randy has been a volunteer surgeon with Operation Smile for 25 years and has served as the organization’s Chief Medical Officer since 2007. During that time, he has participated in and led over 50 missions to a majority of Operation Smile’s partner countries. As CMO, he has grown the charity’s medical leadership group to include a highly cohesive, internationally recognized team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians and nurses who oversee all of the organization’s healthcare delivery operations. Sherman was instrumental in growing Operation Smile’s partnerships with the US Navy and other humanitarian organizations to deliver more effective care in circumstances such as post-earthquake Haiti, and has just completed service as a longstanding member of the organization’s Board of Directors. Here in Los Angeles, Sherman serves as the Vice-chair of Surgery and Division Head of Plastic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai and was the inaugural endowed Audrey Skirball Kenis Professor and Chair in surgery, orthopedics and neurosurgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He is an avid commercial pilot and flight instructor who serves concurrently on the board of directors of several aviation museums both in the US and Britain.
The Universal Smile Award was presented to award-winning actress Kate Walsh by her friend Corinne Kingsbury of The Newsroom. Walsh has participated in Operations Smile’s annual Park City ski event for the past two years, which has raised enough money to provide life-changing surgery for over 2,000 children. Additionally, she personally spearheaded a holiday campaign to raise donations for Operation Smile and matched the first ten surgeries raised. Walsh is widely known for her starring role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on the ABC drama Private Practice, a spin-off of the hit show Grey’s Anatomy. The enormous success of her character on Grey’s led ABC, along with writer and creator Shonda Rimes, to create a spin-off based solely on her character. Walsh also appeared on various shows including The Mike O’Malley Show (ABC), Mind of a Married Man (HBO) and The Drew Carey Show (ABC). On the big screen, Walsh has starred in Kicking and Screaming, Under the Tuscan Sun, After the Sunset, Family Man, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Scary Movie 5. Up next, Walsh will be seen in Hello I Must Be Going, Dermophobia and the DirecTV series Full Circle. Walsh began her acting career in Chicago where she studied at the renowned Piven Theatre Workshop. Walsh starred in multiple theatre productions including Dusk Rings A Bell, Born Guilty, Moon Under Miami and Troilus and Cressida.
About Operation Smile
Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is an international children’s medical charity with a presence in more than 60 countries, whose network of 5,400 medical volunteers from 80 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 3.8 million healthcare evaluations and conducted over 200,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities, as well as patients suffering from burns. To build long-term self-sufficiency in developing countries, Operation Smile trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their own local communities, donates medical equipment and supplies, and provides year-round medical treatment through Comprehensive Care and Training and Treatment Centers. For more information, please visit www.operationsmile.org/lagala. Operation Smile’s 2013 Smile Gala will be produced for the ninth consecutive year by Scott Mauro Entertainment, Inc.
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.