Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Park City Celebrity Ski Challenge with my two sons Luke & Griffin. It was a wonderful weekend full of love and smiles hosted by event chair NBC Entertainment President Jen Salke & her beautiful family. Jen and I have met before through Operation Smile, but this weekend in Park City was a wonderful chance for our two families to get to know each other better. I also had the opportunity to meet and speak with Kim Rodosky, and her family, who I have also heard so much about. Flying in to spend the weekend with us was my co-producer and director, Jen Greenstreet, who I am working with on the upcoming short film Facial Anomalies -- Just Like You films. More on that later...
Hollywood stars who came out to support the weekend, included Taylor Kinney, Julianne Hough, Evan Ross,Brooke Burke-Charvet, David Charvet, Julie Bowen, Kate Walsh, Lance Bass, Michael Trevino, Ben Feldman and Matt Iseman. They had a lot of fun when they went head to head with Olympic skiers on the slopes at Utah Olympic Park on March 12, 2015, in several dual ski races to support Operation Smile, while being cheered on by Retta, Jennifer Coolidge, Adam Shankman and Alex Borstein.
After a day of friendly competition, Iseman, Kinney, and Ross took home championship medals presented to them by Kate Upton and the always entertaining, Smile Ambassador Whitney Cummings, during a VIP Dinner at Tupelo Restaurant. Lady Gaga joined fiancé Kinney for the second year in a row, to support his efforts to raise awareness for Operation Smile.
At the evening event, Junior Event Chair Henry Salke, who was born with a cleft lip, gave a wonderful speech about why helping children less fortunate then him meant so much, followed by a speech by his twin sisters who spoke passionately about their own medical mission experiences.
Brooke Burke-Charvet and David Charvet, who have also been generous supporters for several years, talked about their recent Mexico mission experience with their children and what it meant to experience giving back for their family. One aspect of being an Operation Smile supporter that most people often speak about is not just what giving to others does for them, but what Operation Smile has given back to them and their family. Operation Smile is a tight knit group of kind and giving people shepherded by Dr. Bill & Kathy Magee who inspire the best in everyone.
A highlight of the weekend for our family was seeing the love and support given by all of the attendees, and our beautiful Zachary, Luke & Griffin bears distributed to everyone who donated that night. It is still such a wonderful moment to see how our Three Little Bears have crossed the world helping children and inspiring others to give. Lady Gaga & Taylor were not only generous, but gracious in their support to the entire Operation Smile family. It was wonderful for me to personally thank them both for all of the added awareness they have given to our bears and Operation Smile.
To support your favorite celebrity’s personal fundraising efforts, visit www.operationsmile.org/parkcity.or to donate a smile and a bear to a child going into surgery, please visit www.operationsmile.org/bears or of course you can check out any of our Smile Collection products that benefit Operation Smile.
The one & only Lady Gaga with her Griffin bear spreading awareness of our fundraising efforts to give children smiles around the world.