The Miss Universe Organization and Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity, today announced a new charitable partnership to help raise awareness of the issues faced by children living with unrepaired clefts in the developing world. The new relationship will provide opportunities for the reigning Miss Universe and international titleholders to get involved with Smile Train’s global initiatives in the 85+ countries where the charity helps children.
“We truly believe in what Smile Train represents – hope, joy, perseverance and transformation,” said Paula M. Shugart, President of The Miss Universe Organization. “We are extremely proud to work with an organization that is committed to delivering a positive impact to the communities in which we work, and are steadfast in our commitment to help support their efforts and long-term sustainability.”
Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Smile Train’s sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in the developing world to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their own communities. Since its founding in 1999, Smile Train has provided more than one million cleft repair surgeries across the world.
“We are honored to be a new official charity partner of The Miss Universe Organization to raise awareness for the vital cause of cleft lip and palate repair and related treatment,” said Susannah Schaefer, CEO, Smile Train. “We hope that this relationship will help us mobilize supporters, both new and old, by leveraging The Miss Universe Organization’s incredible voice and helping to transform lives in the process.”
The partnership will amplify a shared set of core values, centered on the organizations’ global reach and commitment to empowering children to lead full, productive lives.
To kick-off these efforts, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach will have the opportunity to meet with Smile Train’s Country Director for the Philippines, Kimmy Flaviano, while she is visiting Manila next week. Wurtzbach will learn more about the organization’s efforts and Smile Train’s local partners who are on the ground helping cleft patients 365 days a year.
“I look forward to my homecoming next week and helping to kick-off our organization’s new partnership with Smile Train,” said Wurtzbach. “As Miss Universe, I look forward to lending my voice and a helping hand to continue to raise awareness for children born with cleft lip and palate in the developing world, including my home country, the Philippines.”
InsideEdition.com – Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach, is defending Steve Harvey and cleared up a rumor that he missed rehearsals for the live show in December. “I just want to say I don’t know where that started because he was there for everything,” she said during a taping of The Steve Harvey Show. She told Harvey to stop beating himself up, saying: “we all have to move on.”
PhilStar.com – On Thursday, a photo of Miss Universe winner Pia Wurtzbach and Miss Universe 2nd runner up Olivia Jordan was uploaded on Facebook by the official Facebook page of Miss USA.
On the caption, Jordan described Wurtzbach as an “incredible roomie” and mentioned that the two of them will stay together for six months for a certain project.
BroadwayWorld.com – Wurtzbach has been enjoying her visit to The Big Apple in recent days, taking in a number of Broadway shows including KINKY BOOTS and FINDING NEVERLAND.
As BWW recently announced, Allegiance will play its final performance on Broadway on Sunday, February 14, 2016. Performances began at the Longacre Theatre on October 6, 2015 and the production officially opened on November 8, 2015. At the time of its closing it will have played 37 previews and 113 regular performances.
Allegiance stars Tony® and Olivier® award winner Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables) in her long-awaited return to Broadway joined by “Star Trek” icon George Takei in his Broadway debut at age 78, and Broadway and “Glee” star Telly Leung. Allegiance is the vibrant and unforgettable story of one family’s resilience in the face of seemingly-insurmountable odds, inspired by Takei’s real-life experience as a Japanese American during World War II.
PhilStar.com – The Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach media blitz continues.The 26-year-old beauty queen began her first official day as the reigning Miss Universe with a series of TV appearances and interviews.
Among the TV shows she guested on include “Good Morning America,” “Live! With Michael and Kelly” and “CNN Tonight” with Don Lemon. Part of her media rounds during her first days as Miss Universe include a portrait session with the Associated Press on Tuesday in New York.