Fundraiser helps kids with facial deformities

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Join Pitts Orthodontics and Master Photographer Pete Rezac Saturday, April 13, for “Celebration of Smiles Day,” a national fundraising effort to benefit Operation Smile, the world’s largest volunteer medical organization dedicated to treating children who suffer from facial deformities. Photos will be taken at Pitts Orthodontics, 4786 Caughlin Parkway, #305 between 8 am and 5 pm.

The two local companies join Professional Photographers of America (PPA) to offer the gift of an individual portrait session, digital and a desk-size portrait in exchange for a $24 PER SMILE donation to Operation Smile. One hundred percent of the donation goes to support the work of Operation Smile. It takes as little as $240 to fund a single surgery.

“We’re in the business of providing the best orthodontic care to our patients often resulting in a beautiful smile,” says Mark Handelin of Pitts Orthodontics. “Fortunately, facial deformity correction surgeries take place almost automatically in the United States, but in third world countries many of the children born with cleft lip or palate are abandoned after birth many of them dying within their first year. That’s where we come in. While we don’t get to see or meet the children we help, we contribute to the volunteer efforts of the amazing doctors, nurses and volunteers of Operation Smile, and we can feel good knowing that those children have a better chance at living a healthy life.”

Through the generosity of patients, colleagues, friends and family, the duo has saved 96 smiles. This year’s goal is to fund 30 surgeries, for a total of 120 smiles saved in seven years.

“Joining Pitts Orthodontics to contribute to Operation Smile has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have been privileged to participate in,” says Pete Rezac, M.Photog.Cr., CPP. “I am able to combine my passion for creating a sustaining memory for people with beautiful knowing that every click on my camera goes to helping 25 children in third world countries get the surgery they need to live a healthy life.”

Founded in 1982, Operation Smile is a worldwide children’s medical charity dedicated to helping children and young adults born with facial deformities. In as little as 45 minutes, one cleft lip surgery can change a child’s life forever. Every three minutes a child somewhere in the world is born with a facial deformity. One in ten will not survive to see their first birthday. Those who do survive often live in isolation and pain. Each year, more than 100,000 children are born with a facial deformity in Operation Smile’s 26 partner countries. Tens of thousands remain untreated.

Please confirm your support by calling Kimberly at Pitts Orthodontics at 825-3400, or email smiles@pittsorthodontics.com to make a reservation.