Share a Smile Club Raises Money for Children’s Smiles

From+left+to+right%3A+Isabella+Mahar+%2810%29%2C++Jieun+Choi+%2810%29%2C+Taytum+Tercenio+%2812%29%2C+Shaili+Patel+%2810%29%2C+Suhina+Sharma%2810%29+and+Trisha+Mantri+%2810%29+pictured+at+the+Smile+Train+conference+in+New+York+CIty.+
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Share a Smile Club Raises Money for Children’s Smiles

From left to right: Isabella Mahar (10),  Jieun Choi (10), Taytum Tercenio (12), Shaili Patel (10), Suhina Sharma(10) and Trisha Mantri (10) pictured at the Smile Train conference in New York CIty.

From left to right: Isabella Mahar (10), Jieun Choi (10), Taytum Tercenio (12), Shaili Patel (10), Suhina Sharma(10) and Trisha Mantri (10) pictured at the Smile Train conference in New York CIty.

Photo courtesy of Isabella Mahar

From left to right: Isabella Mahar (10), Jieun Choi (10), Taytum Tercenio (12), Shaili Patel (10), Suhina Sharma(10) and Trisha Mantri (10) pictured at the Smile Train conference in New York CIty.

Photo courtesy of Isabella Mahar

Photo courtesy of Isabella Mahar

From left to right: Isabella Mahar (10), Jieun Choi (10), Taytum Tercenio (12), Shaili Patel (10), Suhina Sharma(10) and Trisha Mantri (10) pictured at the Smile Train conference in New York CIty.

Isabella Colby, Staff Writer

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Students at SJHHS apart of the Share a Smile Club traveled to New York City last week for the annual Smile Train conference as ambassadors for the cause.

Smile Train is a charity that works to fundraise cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children around the world who may not have the money or resources for such procedures.

In addition to the organization, a club at SJHHS, Share a Smile, is advocating for the cause, and raising both awareness and money for the children with untreated clefts that are in need of surgery.

“The club meets the first and third tuesday of the month in Madame Keelers room which is B12,” says SJHHS ambassador, Isabella Mahar. “Me and the other ambassadors are planning a few other fundraisers for this year,” Mahar adds.

The club is run by Senior Taytum Tercenio, and the ambassadors include Tercenio, Mahar, Shaili Patel, Jieun Choi, Trisha Mantri, Audrey Banzali-Marks, and Suhina Sharma.

Those with clefts not only have to worry about their social well-being, but also their health. They face eating, breathing, and speaking issues. When I learned about these problems, I knew I wanted this to be my life mission”

“I learned about Smile Train through my oldest brother, who was born with a cleft lip and palate…during my first year as a Smile Train Ambassador, I personally raised enough money for three cleft surgeries. This year I have set higher goals for myself. So far, I have personally raised enough for five cleft surgeries and I plan to raise much more,” said Terenio.

“Those with clefts not only have to worry about their social well-being, but also their health. They face eating, breathing, and speaking issues. When I learned about these problems, I knew I wanted this to be my life mission,” says Tercenio. Similarly, Shaili Patel said, “I decided to get involved to help young children around the world live a better life for themselves and their families too.”

This year, the club raised a total of $549 due to their Krispy Kreme fundraiser, which was able to pay for two surgeries. Each surgery takes 45 minutes and costs $250. Smile train likes to advocate that 45 minutes can change a child’s life forever. At first glance $250 may seem like a very large amount of money, but with a few combined donations, it’s not that large.

The Smile Train organization host events such as comedy shows, galas, and marathons in places like New York, Berlin, Chicago, and many more. The Share a Smile club at SJHHS is planning some events as well. Some including a movie theatre fundraiser, several restaurant fundraisers, and they are planning on participating in the Ladera Ranch Garage Sale event in April.

According to Smile Train, they have supported more than one million cleft surgeries since 1999. Every 5 minutes, a child receives their life-changing cleft repair surgery. The club succeeds at benefiting many children’s lives, and will definitely continue to help the community in the future.

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