Matt Nathanson Receives Universal Smile Award

Matt Nathanson

Everyone smiled at Operation Smile’s fourth annual Smile Gala in San Francisco on November 7, 2015. Operation Smile honored singer and songwriter Matt Nathanson with the Universal Smile Award for his work with Starkey Hearing Foundation. Nathanson responded with a surprise acoustic performance at the event.

“We raised enough funds to provide life-changing cleft lip surgeries for some 895 children — over $215,000,” reported Smile Gala chairs Shab Farzaneh and Shirin Aryanpour.

Scenes from the Smile Gala at the Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco:

The San Francisco Smile Gala also celebrated more than 220,000 life-changing surgical interventions provided in 60+ countries across the globe this year.

Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft. These children encounter incredible obstacles. Ostracized from a life of everyday normalcy they are ridiculed, unable to properly eat or speak or attend school. They are vulnerable to a higher rate of respiratory infection as well as other infectious diseases and malnutrition. In too many cases, they face uncertain futures because of limited access to healthcare and strained financial resources.

Operation Smile is comprised of a global network of medical professionals  and volunteers who donate hundreds of thousands of hours toward the care of children around the world each year. These supporters make a difference in the lives of children they’ve never met, and ensure each child receives exceptional surgical care.

— Related: Past Red Carpet Bay Area coverage of Operation Smile in San Francisco: